Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Kevin Gregg has turned from average to douche

Alright then. So, it turns out that perhaps our earliest suspscions of Gregg were right -- after blowing last night's game against the hapless Padres, the Cubs are cutting the cord on Gregg's role as closer and turning to a different arm. As one of the Gregg defenders*, I'm disappointed by this turn of events, but I give props to the usually slow-to-act Lou Piniella for his quick response to three weeks of regular Gregg implosions. He's said after last night's debacle that the Cubs will finally be re-arranging the bullpen. But who wants to place bets on the likelihood of Lou turning to the right reliever?

(*y'know. Back when he was doing good and you all hated on him)

The present regulars of the bullpen include as follows:

Lefties: Sean Marshall, John Grabow

Righties: Carlos Marmol, Angel Guzman, Aaron Heilman, Esmalin Caridad, Gregg

So, what are the odds of which pitcher assuming the closer's role in the coming days?

Carlos Marmol 2 to 1
Lou hasn't been as bad about having a "my guys" mentality as Dusty Baker was, but there are certainly signs of him grabbing onto players in certain roles long after they should've been dropped. The Dramatic Gopher, who is no longer effectively wild, belongs nowhere near a save situation or even a close game. But he's been the closer of the future for a couple of years now, and since Gregg has proven to be about as reliable as a 95 Saturn, Marmol will probably be Lou's choice.

Angel Guzman 4 to 1
And yet, he should be the guy. Guzman has been reliable and effective this year. He hasn't been pitching with over-powering stuff, but that's been Marmol's game and it's gotten him a lot of wild pitches and an excessive amount of walks. So which would you rather have -- the closer with the 1.2 SO/inning ratio or the closer with a mid 2's ERA?

Sean Marshall - 8 to 1
Before he had his recent rough-up, Marshall was pitching in relief with a sub-2 ERA. Even now, post rough-up, he's got an ERA of 2.77 in 26 innings of work with teams batting a meager .215 against him.

John Grabow - 20 to 1
He's been effective, posting a 2.98 ERA this year. But the man who looks like a Pirates of the Caribbean extra was brought to Chicago to be the other lefty middle reliever, not to close.

Aaron Heilman - 100 to 1
If Piniella thought he could get away with shoving Heilman down a flight of stairs, he would. As it is, Lou would probably sooner give up eating than give Heilman a shot at blowing more late inning games.

Esmalin Caridad - 100 to 1
Not that Caridad is bad or anything -- he's just way too new.

Kevin Gregg - 10 to 1
I wouldn't be shocked if Lou threw a curve at us and kept Gregg in the closer's role after all. Lou does not easily make decisions to change.

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