Manager Buck Showalter would like to give closer Kevin Gregg more work, which might keep him sharp and prevent the kind of outings that we saw last night. Not that there have been many save chances during this skid, but even a random inning could prove beneficial.
“It’s certainly something that we’re conscious of coming out of spring training, but some of the situations that we’ve had early in the season haven’t been there in perfect situations,” Showalter said. “We haven’t had a lot of leads late in the game for a while, the last week or so. That’s why he pitched last night. It is something that, every opportunity we get, we’ll continue to push him out there.”
Gregg believes he’s more effective with consistent trips to the mound. As I wrote this morning, he wanted to pitch every other day in spring training.
“It is a factor for him,” Showalter said. “It’s a factor for just about all pitchers, too - the other seven down there.”
Is the task of keeping everyone sharp more difficult when you’re carrying eight relievers?
“It’s part of the job, but with the eighth guy really being long, where you’re trying to keep him from being extended too much, not really. Especially with Clay Rapada here,” Showalter said.
“It’s like J.J. (Jim Johnson) was talking to Rick Adair. They’ve got a pretty good feel for what they’re going to be called on to do and how long we won’t let them sit down there without pitching. We keep that every day as one of the things Mark (Connor) and Rick and I go over every day, who needs to pitch in a perfect world.
“Sometimes the game doesn’t cooperate with you. The bottom line is trying to win the game.”
In other news, first baseman Joe Mahoney could return to Double-A Bowie’s lineup tonight.
Former hitting coach Terry Crowley has been tracking a few Baysox players as he makes the rounds.
By the way, I’m up to 2,500 followers on twitter. Go figure. You can join them at @masnRoch. Hugs are allowed, but only with permission.