FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Blue Jays are “close” to signing reliever Kevin Gregg. Last week manager Cito Gaston was asked about the Blue Jays’ closer situation and replied:
We have a couple of guys that can close, [Scott] Downs, [Jason] Frasor. But we’re going to kind of throw that up in the air. And who knows? We might even be lucky enough to bring somebody else in that can help out, too. It’s going to be between those two and anybody else that [general manager] Alex Anthopoulos brings into camp.
Along those same lines Gregg’s agent said previously that the 32-year-old right-hander was looking for a place where he’d have a chance to close, so Toronto is probably the best fit.
Over the past three seasons Gregg has blown 20 saves in 104 chances while posting a 3.86 ERA with 107 walks in 221.1 innings, so he’s hardly anyone’s idea of an ideal closer. However, the same is true of Jason Frasor and Scott Downs, and if nothing else adding Gregg gives the Blue Jays another setup-caliber reliever to work into the mix.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.