According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, the Orioles are in talks with Kevin Gregg. This isn’t really news, because we already heard this before, but it’s the holidays and people are drinking lots of eggnog and stuff.
Gregg, 32, posted a 3.51 ERA along with a career-high 37 saves with the Blue Jays this past season, but he also averaged 4.58 BB/9 and has a 4.03 ERA for his career. Racking up saves will get you paid (see: Fernando Rodney with the Angels last offseason), but Gregg is obviously far from elite as far as closers go.
There’s also the question of why the Orioles would feel compelled to sign Gregg, especially since he would be no lock for the ninth inning now that the club has re-signed Koji Uehara. Don’t forget that Mike Gonzalez — who was signed last offseason to be the closer — is still under contract for $6 million next season. Either the Orioles are jonesin’ to spend some dough after being spurned by multiple free agents or they have concerns that Uehara and Gonzalez won’t be able to stay healthy. The latter sentiment is probably justified.
The Phillies’ bullpen led to yet another loss on Tuesday. Severino Gonzalez, Luis Garcia, Joely Rodriguez, and David Hernandez combined to allow six runs in five innings, allowing the Braves to come back and win 7-6 after falling behind 6-0 after the first two innings.
The game prior, the Phillies’ bullpen surrendered 14 runs in four innings in a 17-0 loss to the Mets. The game before that, the bullpen yielded four runs in four innings, nearly squandering the Phillies’ 10-0 lead after four innings. And last Thursday, the Phillies had taken an 8-6 lead in the top of the 11th, but Edubray Ramos served up a walk-off three-run home run to Asdrubal Cabrera. It’s been a tough month.
Manager Pete Mackanin ripped the bullpen when speaking to the media after Tuesday’s game. Via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly:
Neris was going to close for us. I thought about using him with two outs in the eighth. But, at some point, somebody else has to do a (bleeping) job. Somebody else has to (bleeping) step up. In two games now, every reliever I brought in has given up a (bleeping) run. That’s unheard of.
The Phillies currently own the fourth-worst bullpen ERA in baseball at 4.97. Only the Rockies (5.12), Reds (5.07), and Diamondbacks (4.98) have been worse.
In fairness to the bullpen, aside from Jeanmar Gomez (who lost his job as closer earlier this month) and free agent signee David Hernandez, the bullpen is intentionally comprised of young, inexperienced pitchers as the Phillies are still rebuilding. If the Phillies were aiming for a playoff spot, it would be one thing, but the struggles are to be expected when one throws 24-year-olds into the deep end.
Manager Robin Ventura’s contract with the White Sox expires after the season, but the club will offer him a new contract if he wants to stay in Chicago, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.
Ventura’s five seasons at the helm of the White Sox haven’t gone well. The club has crossed the 80-win threshold only once, in his first season back in 2012. Entering the final five games of the season, Ventura has a 373-432 record (463) overall.
The White Sox have also had a handful of controversies under Ventura’s watch, including the fiasco concerning Adam LaRoche and his son Drake, as well as Chris Sale‘s displeasure with wearing retro uniforms. Ventura is not exactly a fan favorite, either. It’s interesting that the White Sox want to keep him around, to say the least.