Word came down yesterday that the Cubs were considering releasing Kevin Gregg after he voiced his displeasure to the media about being removed from the closer role. However, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that he will remain with the club after Cubs president Theo Epstein accepted his apology this morning.
It appears that the kerfuffle was rooted in miscommunication, as Epstein said yesterday that Gregg wasn’t going to be permanently removed from the closer role, but that they wanted to give the younger Pedro Strop a couple of looks down the stretch. This is a lot of talk about save chances for a 64-90 team who has just one week left in the season, but here we are.
Gregg, 35, has a 3.45 ERA, 32 saves, and a 50/32 K/BB ratio over 60 innings this season. He will be a free agent after the season.
The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.
The Tampa Bay Rays have activated outfielder Kevin Kiermaier from the 60-day disabled list.
Kiermaier, who fractured his hip in early June, is batting leadoff and playing center field in tonight’s game against the Mariners. He was just 3-for-24 on his rehab assignment, but those aren’t usually predictive of anything. He was hitting .258/.329/.408 when he went down. Getting his bat — and, more importantly, his glove — back in the lineup will boost the struggling Rays in their quest for a playoff spot.