After getting released in the middle of a pennant chase last September, Kevin Gregg is out to prove he can contribute to a winning bullpen.
Just about every season, a non-roster pitcher finds his way onto the Dodgers opening day roster. In 2013, the Dodgers have three leading veteran candidates to win that role in Mark Lowe, Peter Moylan, and Kevin Gregg. Of the three, Gregg is the one with closer experience, having saved 143 games from 2007-2011.
But 2012 was a different season for Gregg. He was a complimentary piece to an effective bullpen in Baltimore, on a team that made the playoffs for the first time in15 years.
However, Gregg wasn't around to taste any champagne. After putting up a 4.95 ERA, including 12 runs allowed in 11⅓ innings over his final 10 outings, Gregg was released by the Orioles on Sept. 14.
"That was an interesting move. I don't really understand it. You'd have to ask Buck (Showalter, Orioles manager) what he was thinking. I never showed any public disgust in what was going on. I was a very good teammate, helping guys and did a lot of things behind the scenes, and that's what I got," Gregg said. It allowed them to add somebody different to their roster for the playoffs. I never got an explanation for it."
After making $18.7 million over the previous five seasons, Gregg had to settle for a minor league deal, though he said he was also pursued by other clubs.
"With the year I came off of, I wasn't sure what was going to come of it. But the bottom line is, I know how I can pitch and what I'm capable of, and getting into camp I'll show what I can do," Gregg said. "If you look at what's going on around here, you look at the team that's presented, the direction of the ownership group and the organization, you'd have to be crazy not to be a part of it."
Does Gregg approach this spring any differently than his previous spring trainings when he was on a 40-man roster?
"Yes and no," Gregg said. "It's different that you're not on the 40-man roster, but that's about it. You still have to go out and do your job, and show you're still capable of playing at this level."
Over the last three seasons Gregg has issued a free pass to 12.9% of his batters faced, 156th out of 163 qualified relief pitchers in walk rate during that span. His strikeout rate of 20.3% is 105th.
Gregg signed a minor league contract on Feb. 10.
|2013 Projections - Age 35 Season|
Gregg definitely has a shot at a bullpen spot, especially given his closing experience, but I think he ends up on the outside looking in, and doesn't pitch for the Dodgers this season.
Be sure to guess how you think Gregg will perform for the Dodgers in 2013. Include ERA and whatever else you wish to guess.