Goatriders of the Apocalypse

2009 Recap: Kevin Gregg

I think most Cub fans are aware that, by most accounts, Kevin Gregg did a terrible job closing for the Cubs in 2009.

I was one of several GROTA folks that defended a few bad outings here and there with regard to Gregg, trying to focus on the forest rather than a few mangled, dying, termite-infested trees.

But in the end, Gregg had an insurmountable problem that we just couldn't ignore. Worse, it was a problem that major league closers simply cannot survive with.

Gregg gave up 13 home runs in 68.2 innings pitched.

To put that in perspective, let's think about what that home run rate would do for a starter. Work with me here on a little math.

A typical starter would have three times Gregg's workload in a given year (60 * 3 = 180, 70 * 3 = 210, which is a reasonable range for SPs). They'd usually get that amount of work in over the course of 30-some starts.

13 times 3 is 39. That'd mean, in 30-something starts, Gregg would give up 39 home runs.

I mean, WGN would have to develop an "Inevitable Kevin Gregg-Allowed Home Run" graphic for every start!

The statheads among us think home run rates have a bit to do with luck (if you've ever read anything about BABIP, it's the same idea here). So maybe Gregg was simply unlucky in 2009, as over 15% of the fly balls opponents hit off of him left the park. That's about twice as many as his career average.

But then I think back to That One Game (I forget the team we were playing at the time), and how The Other KG served up an ice cream cone of a fat fastball to some division rival, and the guy hit it across the state border.

Not fun.

So, yeah, it didn't work out, which is too bad. If we had to have a closer with a crappy ERA, I'd have much preferred to keep Kerry Wood than to have traded for some goggle-wearing schmo from California. (Nothing against California, just being angry.)

Speaking of that trade, anybody have any idea what Jose Ceda's up to?

Go Cubs!

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