Cubs declare Kevin Gregg the closer
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com May 8, 2013 12:13PM
Cubs closer Kevin Gregg pumps his fist after recording the final out and getting a save as the Chicago Cubs scored a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday May 7, 2013 at Wrigley Field. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: May 8, 2013 4:30PM
Here they go again.
The Cubs scrapped the closer-by-committee approach manager Dale Sveum spent weeks clinging to, and finally declared Kevin Gregg the ninth-inning man.
“Gregg’s our closer,” said Sveum, answering what had become a daily question with a new answer Wednesday. “He’s obviously earned it. There’s a bigger sample out there now to know that.”
Gregg, in his second tour with the team, signed as a minor-league free agent April 15 after being released by the Los Angles Dodgers April 3.
He converted his fifth save chance Tuesday night in as many tries, pitching a 1-2-3 ninth in the 2-1 victory over first-place St. Louis.
The rest of the bullpen is 4-for-12 in save chances.
“It doesn’t change my approach on how I’m going out there, or how I’m going to prepare each day,” said Gregg, who was the Cubs’ closer in 2009 before losing the job to Carlos Marmol. “Hopefully, it calms things down out there and people will have success. …
“It’s the position I have coveted for years now. I want to be the guy. I want to be the guy at the end of the game.”
If Gregg thrives in the role, one byproduct could be creating a valuable trading chip out of the right-hander for what looks like another trading-deadline selloff this year.
“I’m not worried about that,” he said. “I don’t think about it that way. I’m here now and that’s all I can control. The way they handle that going forward, that’s up to Theo [Epstein] and those guys. They’re going to decide how they want to build this team for now and in the future. I’m excited to be here and be a part of this team and will be until I’m told otherwise.”