Accurately dubbed "Captain Chaos" by Baltimore Orioles fans and the team's broadcasters, reliever Kevin Gregg has truly lived up to his name over the past two seasons. He rarely gets through an inning without transforming a good day for the O's into one that collectively raises the blood pressure of Charm City.
His poor performance was put on full display Sunday afternoon at Rogers Center against the Toronto Blue Jays. Starter Brian Matusz pitched a great game into the sixth, giving up a tough three runs and leaving another runner on base.
Manager Buck Showalter called in Gregg to get the final out of the inning and head into the seventh with just a one-run deficit at 3-2. Five minutes later, the score was 8-2 in favor the Blue Jays. Strangely, Showalter refused to take Gregg out of the game, even after he beaned a batter with two strikes and the bases loaded.
Why did Showalter leave him in the game for what became an embarrassing performance? It appeared Showalter was proving to management that despite Gregg's fat $6 million contract, the team cannot trust him to get the job done. It's time to cut ties, absorb the financial hit and move on with another young pitcher in the setup role.
Looking at the numbers, last year Gregg suffered seven blown saves, posted an ERA of 4.37 and averaged nearly one walk per inning. Nothing about those numbers is something a team wants associated with a pitcher whose specialty is working the late innings.
In this young 2012 season, he's already failed twice on the mound. He hasn't improved; in fact, he seems to be even worse.
Following Twitter chatter during Orioles' games, it's obvious fans are completely fed up. Here are some choice tweets from today's game:
(@410sports) Could you imagine being a pitcher who just threw 100 pitches and being told Kevin Gregg will pitch behind you.
(@BrianNeall) Kevin Gregg is trending in Baltimore...hopefully the team left him at the hotel in Toronto
Fans are done with him. It appears Showalter is done with him. Orioles management, it's your move.