He knows Gregg will be an important piece in his bullpen and that he has to get him right. Showalter has to help him to start pitching well.
Maybe last night was a start. Despite a loud out that ended the game, Gregg did pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning to pick up his second O’s save in three chances. He got the job done, even if the fans’ hearts did skip a beat on that final out.
We have seen over the years that Orioles fans are tough on their closers. Just don’t blow any saves and everything will be fine. But there will be blown saves and everything isn’t always fine.
Gregg is not a shutdown, can’t-miss closer that is among the best in the game at what he does. But he did save 37 games last year with a save percentage of 86 percent. That is not bad at all.
I would say the fans should give him a chance, but some have already made up their minds. While that is crazy, those fans don’t care. They saw Gregg give up the lead in New York and two runs in the ninth Monday night and that was enough for some of them.
Maybe Gregg needs to pitch more and not less at this point. He had been pitching every fourth day for a while there. With last night’s outing, he’s pitched twice in three games. Some pitchers need to get out there regularly to stay sharp and Gregg may be one of those guys. During an eight-game losing streak, he wasn’t needed much.
Some nights, you may not want to pitch your closer in a loss, but he may need an inning to stay effective. A tough call for a manager, who may then need him two nights in a row when his club is winning.
If the Orioles are going to have a decent season and win a few games, Gregg will probably be a big factor.
Whether some fans will get behind him almost doesn’t matter at this point. He will be needed in this bullpen.