When the Orioles went out and signed Kevin Gregg this off-season, most assumed it would lead to a closer competition between him and Koji Uehara. With Koji out with elbow discomfort the last week or so, Gregg has had the opportunity to really prove himself after saving 27 games in 33 chances last season. Gregg has gotten into six games this spring so far, and the results have differed when split into two groups.
In his first four outings, Gregg allowed no runs in each inning pitched, and only allowed two hits and two walks, with three strikeouts. With news of Uehara’s injury, the closer spot looked like it wasn’t so much up for grabs anymore.
Well, Gregg has allowed eight runs over his last two outings, spanning only 1.1 IP. Just yesterday, against the Astros in Sarasota, Gregg came into the game in the 5th inning, loaded the bases, and let up a grand slam to Brett Wallace. This begged the question of what was going wrong with Gregg’s pitching.
In his post-game interview today, Gregg said this (from Roch Kubatko’s blog):
“Me and Goose (Mark Connor) have been working on, for the last week, some mechanical changes. Obviously, they are not turning into good results on the field. Tinker with one thing and it messes up another thing,” said Gregg, who didn’t allow a run in his first four appearances.
“I know I threw the ball well early, but it was something they thought I should try to change and improve. I tried to make that adjustment a little bit but it is throwing off some other mechanics in the midst of it. So Goose said we’ll take a step back, go back to where we were and see how that works.”
I don’t get it. Gregg was pretty solid last year, and was practically perfect this spring, and then Mark Connor goes and tries to change up his mechanics? The purpose was to have him lean forward more to get the ball to sink a bit better. Or something.
I don’t understand why you would want to mess with a guy’s mechanics when he is doing just fine. It’s not like one of those cases where the mechanics are changed because a guy is leaving himself very open to injury. Gregg’s mechanics are noticeable with his barely slight arm movement, and his eye gear on the mound is ever so known, but nothing that should be worrying Connor.
I’d be interested in hearing from Mark Connor’s point of view what the purpose was behind these changes. And we can only hope that Gregg can fix things and go back to the ways of before.