The Reds have cut the pitcher that Bryan Price judged to be the right guy for the 8th inning set-up role on Opening Day.
Reds designate for assignment RHP Kevin Gregg, recall from Louisville RHP Pedro Villarreal (#62).
— Reds Media Relations (@RedsPR) May 11, 2015
This was a costly and doomed experiment from the start that anyone, outside the Reds front office apparently, saw coming a 400-foot home run away. Final damage: 11 appearances, 9 where Gregg gave up at least one run, four where he gave up at least two. 10.13 ERA, 5.59 FIP.
It turns out there is a risk to minor league signings: If your organization is fooled by a handful of innings in spring training and ignores all the other available information on the player, gives him a roster spot and puts him into crucial game situations where he costs your team a win. No more am I writing the words “it’s a minor league signing, so no downside for the Reds.” At least as long as this bunch is in charge.
Here’s what we wrote about Gregg before the season started:
Look, Gregg knows heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s near the end of his career. There arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t many available slotsÃ‚Â on major-league rosters for an old (by baseball standards) reliever with a damaged pitching elbow.Ã‚Â The signing of Gregg is a classic low-risk move by the Reds. The worst-case scenario for the club is Gregg fails to regain velocity on his fastball in spring training and is lit up like one the Christmas trees he sells, further demonstrating that GreggÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 2014 numbers with the Marlins (9 innings pitched, 11 hits, 10 earned runs) are the new normal for him. In this hypothetical situation, the Reds would cut Gregg (and eat $1.5 million) or send him to the minors. (Grant Freking)
Kevin Gregg (36) missed almost all of 2014 due to shoulder surgery. Shoulder surgery. He had one of those too-good-to-be-true half-seasons for the Cubs in 2013. Being clever now, they knew it and tried like crazy to trade him at the deadline and found not a single taker. Gregg predictably imploded in the second half. Like Marquis, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s never been much more than a mediocre pitcher. (Steve Mancuso)
Then after the season began:
April 22: For some perspective, among the 258 relievers who have made an appearance in 2015, Kevin Gregg has the 15th-worst FIP, Badenhop the 21st-worst, Parra the 37th, and Diaz is 42nd. Sorting by WHIP doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make it much better, as Parra has the second-worst in all of baseball and Cingrani, Hoover, Badenhop, and Gregg are all in the bottom 100. Gregg also has the ignominious honor of being one of only four relievers in baseball to have surrendered three homers thus far. (Kevin Michell)
April 23:Ã‚Â Bryan Price decided thatÃ‚Â Kevin GreggÃ‚Â was the best guy to come in the sixth inning with two on and two outs. Gregg was able to get out of that jam, but Price decided he wanted to roll the dice even more. Gregg pitched the 7th inning, and after allowing a four pitch leadoff walk to Logan Schafer (a guy with a .601 career OPS), he eventually allowed the go ahead run to score. Why on earth Gregg was given the opportunity to get four outs in a tie game, with a relatively fresh bullpen, is simply amazing. Aroldis Chapman hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t been given that opportunity in 2015. (Nick Kirby)
April 27: Honestly, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m astonished that Gregg is still on the team. The Reds jumped ship on Trevor Bell in 2014 after 2/3 of an inning. In 2015, they seem unwilling to admit they made a mistake in keeping Kevin Gregg, a pitcher who hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t had a positive WAR season since 2010. He never should have made the team and now is the time to replace him with either Lorenzen or Iglesias. (Nick Carrington)
May 2:Ã‚Â Kevin Gregg totally Kevin GreggÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d it tonight. He did manage to finish the game without havingÃ‚Â Chapman replace him. That was nice, I guess. (Jason Linden)
And if you sprung for my Big Reds Preview, you saw this coming back in February:
“Kevin Gregg has really never been much more than a mediocre pitcher. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s now at the tail end of his career and coming off elbow surgery. He sat out almost all of last season. Major league clubs, including the Reds, cast their verdict on Gregg at the 2013 trade deadline.Ã‚Â ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard to expect anything more from Kevin Gregg than his second-half stats from 2013.”