When last we heard from veteran reliever Kevin Gregg it was April and he was bashing sabermetrics, complaining that the Cubs didn’t re-sign him, and “just waiting for an opportunity” to return to the majors at age 36.
Gregg will apparently get that opportunity in Miami, as Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Marlins have signed the right-hander to a minor-league contract with plans to call him up after a week or two in the minors getting back into game shape.
Gregg was the Marlins’ closer in 2007 and 2008, saving a total of 61 games with a 3.48 ERA in 153 innings. In the five seasons since then he has a combined 4.18 ERA and ugly rate of 4.8 walks per nine innings. “Proven closer” silliness aside, he shouldn’t be more than a middle reliever at this point.
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.