Results tagged ‘ Kevin Gregg ’

11/2 Free agent discussions

Outfielder Reed Johnson and pitchers John Grabow, Rich Harden, Kevin Gregg, and Chad Fox are eligible to file for free agency as soon as the World Series ends. A player must file within 15 days after the World Series is over. The Cubs will retain exclusive negotiating rights during that 15-day period.

The Cubs began discussions with Grabow’s agent before the regular season ended. The team was expected to try and re-sign the left-handed reliever, acquired July 30 along with Tom Gorzelanny from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“I want to come back,” Grabow said in early October. “[Cubs general manager Jim Hendry] knows that. It’s just a matter of getting it done.”

There were reports Monday that the two sides were discussing a two-year deal in the $6.5 million to $7.5 million range. Grabow, who turns 31 on Wednesday, appeared in a career-high 75 games this past season for the Pirates and Cubs combined. 

As long as we’re discussing who should play center field for the Cubs, who would you keep in this group?

— Carrie Muskat

10/7 Roster info

MLB Trade Rumors has sorted out the projected Type A and B Free Agents. The Cubs have two in each category:

Type A Free Agent

John Grabow
Kevin Gregg

Type B Free Agent

Rich Harden
Reed Johnson

The Cubs would like to keep Grabow, and already have had talks with his agent. Harden and Johnson could stay, but it depends on their contract demands.

* Also, players with three to six years of big league service are arbitration eligible. The Cubs will have until Dec. 12 to tender the following players contracts:

IF Jeff Baker

LHP Neal Cotts

IF Mike Fontenot

LHP Tom Gorzelanny

RHP Angel Guzman

RHP Aaron Heilman

C Koyie Hill

RHP Carlos Marmol

LHP Sean Marshall

SS Ryan Theriot

Players with between two and three years of big league service time are eligible as “Super Twos” if they both collected at least 86 days the prior year and rank in the top 17 percent in total service time of this group. Fontenot and Gorzelanny qualify as Super Twos.

— Carrie Muskat 

9/29 Gregg shutdown for season

Cubs pitcher Kevin Gregg lost his argument with Lou Piniella and the medical staff, and will be shutdown for the rest of the season because of a crack in his rib cartilage. Gregg appeared in 72 games in his first season with the Cubs and the right-hander totaled 23 saves.

“They pay me to be ready for 162 [games],” Gregg said Tuesday. “I want to pitch, I want to go out there. Even if you’re not 100 percent, you still want to give it a chance.”

Gregg had an MRI on Monday, which revealed the crack.

“I thought I could deal with it, could pitch,” Gregg said. “They want to make sure nothing else comes out of this.”

A free agent after this season, Gregg may be looking for a new team in 2010. Piniella has already tabbed Carlos Marmol as the Cubs closer next year.

— Carrie Muskat

9/27 Lineup, Lee & Gregg update

Derrek Lee was not available Sunday, needing one more day to get treatment from neck spasms that flared up Thursday. Lee was expected back in the Cubs’ lineup Tuesday for the start of the last homestand vs. the Pirates.

Kevin Gregg (sore rib cage) also should be available Tuesday. He had a side session Saturday, and received treatment on Sunday.

Here’s the lineup for Sunday’s game vs. the Giants:

SS Theriot

RF Fukudome

3B Ramirez

1B Fox

2B Baker

LF Scales

C Hill

CF Fuld

P Wells

— Carrie Muskat

9/26 Quick pitch

Prior to Friday’s game, Lou Piniella was asked if he was comfortable with the way the Cubs pitching is set up for 2010.

“Our pitching is pretty well intact,” Piniella said. “I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen as far as [next year] — that’s Jim’s department, is all I’m trying to say. The nucleus of our pitching is here and I’m quite comfortable with a lot of these young kids. I’ve expressed that feeling to our general manager. They’ve gotten a chance to pitch a lot and I like what I see, quite honestly.”

Looking ahead, the Cubs rotation would be Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly, Randy Wells, possibly Tom Gorzelanny. This season, the only pitcher returning to the bullpen was Carlos Marmol. For 2010, Marmol will be the closer and could be joined in the pen by Jeff Stevens, Sean Marshall, Aaron Heilman, Justin Berg, David Patton and Esmailin Caridad. It’s hard to say where Jeff Samardzija fits, and whether he needs more time in the Minors.

John Grabow, Kevin Gregg and Rich Harden are free agents.

Cubs pitchers have held opponents to three or less runs in each of the last eight games, posting a 2.14 ERA. In those eight games, the starters have six quality starts and are 3-1 with a 2.18 ERA.

Some follow-up notes on Zambrano’s two-hit shutout over the Giants on Friday:

* It was Big Z’s 10th complete game, and first since his no-hitter Sept. 14, 2008, against Houston at Miller Park. Four of his 10 CGs have been shutouts.

* Friday’s game was the first nine-inning complete game for a Cubs pitcher. Sean Marshall was credited with a CG in a rain-shortened five-inning start May 26 against Pittsburgh.

* Zambrano picked up his 11th multi-RBI game, and third this year.

— Carrie Muskat 

9/25 Lineup, Lee & Ramirez

Derrek Lee was not available Friday because of neck spasms, aggravated by his slide and an overzealous celebratory slap from a teammate. Lee slid hard into second in the ninth inning Thursday, and apparently one of the Cubs hit him hard on the head when he got back into the dugout. Pitcher Angel Guzman has been named the guilty party, but the pitcher said he doesn’t remember doing anything to Lee.

“[Lee’s] neck is sore,” Lou Piniella said. “He couldn’t play tonight if we wanted to, and we won’t use him to pinch-hit.”

Lee will get treatment during the game and was expected to be back on Saturday.

“The slide had something to do with it and the love tap on the top of his head,” Piniella said. “All Guzman was trying to do was congratulate him for the stolen base and getting on base and scoring a run. It’s something that just happened. I’m not faulting anybody.”

Piniella said he didn’t see Guzman do it.

“I don’t know that — I was told,” Piniella said. “I shook [Lee’s] hand. I think we went to the videotape.”

* Aramis Ramirez was scratched from the lineup because of a sore left shoulder. He also was expected back on Saturday. Kevin Gregg is sidelined with soreness on his left side.

* Friday’s lineup:

RF Fukudome

SS Theriot

1B Hoffpauir

3B Baker

2B Fontenot

LF Scales

C Hill

CF Fuld

P Zambrano

— Carrie Muskat


9/24 Closing time

Carlos Marmol is 11-for-11 in save situations since being named the Cubs’ closer on Aug. 18. He picked up his 15th save of the season on Thursday.

“He’s done a real good job,” Lou Piniella said of Marmol. “What he’s done is basically solidified his job for next year and going into camp, it’s his job.”

That said, Marmol would be the Cubs’ fourth different closer in the last four years. Ryan Dempster handled the duties in 2007, Kerry Wood in 2008 and Kevin Gregg this year.

— Carrie Muskat


9/8 Free agents & more

After Monday’s game, Derrek Lee was asked what if the Cubs brought back most of the same players, could the results be totally different?

“It could be totally different [in 2010],” Lee said. “There are so many variables in baseball. I don’t think it’s like other sports when you can kind of talk things up. Guys have down years. You see it all the time. This year, it just happened we had a few guys who were either hurt or had down years. But you fully expect those guys to be back and rebound.”

For those of you looking ahead, the free agents to be on the Cubs’ roster include:

Rich Harden

Kevin Gregg

John Grabow

Reed Johnson

I’ll let you discuss who to keep. I’m sure joeydafish has some ideas.

For the roster geeks, the players who are arbitration eligible include: Jeff Baker, Tom Gorzelanny, Aaron Heilman, Neal Cotts, Carlos Marmol, Koyie Hill, Sean Marshall, Mike Fontenot, Angel Guzman and Ryan Theriot.

The Cubs already are committed to about $122 million to players for 2010. That list includes Carlos Zambrano, Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Lee, Ted Lilly, Kosuke Fukudome, Ryan Dempster, Milton Bradley, Aaron Miles and Jeff Samardzija.

— Carrie Muskat

8/18 Marmol to close

Carlos Marmol will handle the closer duties for now, taking over for Kevin Gregg, who gave up four runs in the ninth inning Monday night to the Padres. Lou Piniella and pitching coach Larry Rothschild met with Gregg Tuesday.

“If you look at it for what it is, out of 10 games, I’ve had three bad ones,” Gregg said. “To me, I’m getting beat now with the home run. I looked at the computer and I’ve given up more home runs this year than extra-base hits last year. That’s discouraging. That’s the volatility of the closer. I’ve pitched pretty good all year and had three bad games in August here.”

Marmol admitted Tuesday he was a little “disappointed” when he lost the competition for the closer’s job this spring.

“I’ll take the baseball and do whatever Lou wants me to do,” Marmol said.

— Carrie Muskat

8/18 Closure

Remember 2007 when Ryan Dempster was the Cubs closer? Dempster blew a four-run lead against the Mets in mid-May in New York, and when the team returned home, Lou Piniella said the right-hander was switching to the rotation. Thirty minutes later, Dempster was back as the closer.

Piniella seemed more determined to make a change after Monday’s game against San DIego, which Kevin Gregg lost, giving up four runs in the ninth as the Padres rallied for a 4-1 win.

In the first half, Gregg was 3-2 with 16 saves and three blown saves in 42 games, compiling a 3.32 ERA. In 16 games in the second half, the right-hander is 1-3 with seven saves and three blown saves, and has a 7.47 ERA. He’s given up 15 runs and walked seven in 15 2/3 innings in the second half.

In eight games this month, Gregg has a 1-3 ERA with two saves, three blown saves, and an 11.25 ERA. He’s given up 10 hits and walked two in eight innings. That’s not going to get the job done.

The candidates for the job? How about John Grabow, who has been consistent since the Cubs acquired him from the Pirates July 30. In his last 18 games, he’s given up three runs on 10 hits and 12 walks while striking out 13. He has not given up a run in his last eight games, all with the Cubs, and opponents are batting .095 against him. In his career, the left-hander has six saves and 16 blown saves, scattered from 2004-09.

Carlos Marmol’s problems have been walks. In 15 games since the All-Star break, he’s walked 10 and struck out 21, giving up five runs in 14 1/3 innings. The right-hander walked 41 in 87 1/3 innings over 82 games last year, and issued 42 free passes in 46 games in the first half alone.

He did battle Gregg for the closer’s job this spring, but it was determined at that time that the Cubs would be better off keeping Marmol in his role as No. 1 set-up man. He may have the best stuff of the bullpen corps.

Angel Guzman has one save, June 7 against Cincinnati. In six games this month, the right-hander has given up two runs on six hits over nine innings, and has not walked a batter. Opponents are batting .188 off him. But he’s young, and this is his first full season in the big leagues.

We’ll find out soon enough.

— Carrie Muskat