Goatriders of the Apocalypse

2009 Player Previews - Kevin Gregg

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Closers, Ex-Govs, and Caps.  Oh My.
Gregg to close, Marmol to spoil

You know it's funny how these Player Previews have worked out. We scheduled them about a month in advance, before we knew who would win roster spots, who would be surprise cuts, and who would be awarded which positions on the team. That's one reason why Kevin Gregg and Carlos Marmol are being written about in this, the last week of the Previews ... because we knew that the closer's role was no certain thing. But I have to confess that I am sincerely surprised that Gregg won the job.

Now the next question is ... can he actually close? His history suggests he can, but nobody will ever confuse him for In-His-Prime Gagne.

Randall Kirk Myers once said that in order to be considered an effective closer, you need to save your games at an 80% or better ratio. Since he was once one of the best closers in the game - who resoundingly trounced an angry Cub fan during a game - I've never really doubted the guy. Over the past 2 years, Gregg's been closing for the Marlins. He's saved 61 games in that time to 15 blown, an 80% conversion rate. That's the good news. The bad news is that last year he only saved 29 and blew 9 - 76%.

It remains to be seen if Gregg can be as effective a closer as Kerry Wood was last year, but let's not forget that even Wood had some ridiculous bouts with consistency. The real question is whether or not Gregg can be counted on in, say, a one-run game in October. I don't know about you, but I'd probably have to change my drawers if Gregg entered the game in that situation. Then again, I'd be crapping myself if Marmol was in there to. Hell, I'd probably be nervous about any pitcher on the Cubs closing out a one-run playoff game with the exception of one guy ... Carlos Zambrano.

But until that insanely tense moment arrives, Gregg can close and will probably close well. And if he doesn't, they can replace him with Marmol no bubbles no troubles.

Yes, Wainwright was in the

Yes, Wainwright was in the 'pen for the Cards during the postseason. I clearly remember him closing out the World Series. Plus he made Carlos Beltran look like a fool in Game 7 of the NLDS during the last at-bat.

If my memory serves me correct (and I think it does), Wainwright was in the 'pen for most if not all of that season. I don't think he made the big jump to the rotation until the following season. I could be wrong though.

Was Wainwright in the

Was Wainwright in the rotation in the regular season when the Cards won the World Series? It'll be interesting to see which starters are moved to the 'pen for October. I'd imagine at least one (Marshall), maybe two (Harden to close?).

Yeah it's gotta be Marmol.

Yeah it's gotta be Marmol. Hopefully he stays fresh and sane this year.

Maybe, but barring extreme

Maybe, but barring extreme circumstances I can't see Lou using a starting pitcher in such a circumstance because they might be uncomfortable in that role (especially if it's their first closing opp, and on a huge stage) ... unless it's like Game 7 of the Series and, like the D-Backs when they called on the Big Unit, Lou gives a nod to Carlos. That would be sweet.

If I'm rambling, it's because I'm writing this while on the phone.

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