Gregerson is Unhittable

If I would’ve told you in spring training that Luke Gregerson would produce a higher WAR from a non-closer’s reliever role than Khalil Greene, you would’ve painted me eight different shades of crazy. It’s not longer insanity, it’s reality. Greene has struggled through his first season in the heartland, posting a .641 OPS to date and causing the Cardinals to acquire alternative options to fill their middle infield roles.

Gregerson on the other hand, has pitched about as well as you could ask. A 2.33 FIP and 2.62 tRA are extremely solid. His sinker/slider combination is producing groundballs (45.5%), infield flies (16.1%), and outfield flies that aren’t turning into home runs (3.6%). Nobody is hitting him. His 65.7% contact rate is one of the lowest in the major leagues. He’s not just blowing fastballs by hitters like Jonathan Broxton either, Gregerson’s fastball sits in the low-90s and he uses his slider (which sits in the low-80s) on a nearly equal basis. There’s some deception involved and his arsenal causes batters to swing out of the strike zone on nearly 40% of occasions.

In the spring, Padres Assistant General Manager Paul DePodesta wrote this on his blog:

We came into this spring knowing that a number of bullpen roles would be up for grabs, and with the recent loss of Mark Worrell for the year to elbow surgery (the other player acquired for Khalil) there are fewer guys in the mix. Our scouts believe that Luke could factor in our pen sometime in 2009, so we’re excited to add him.

I’d say Gregerson has exceeded expectations.





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Steve
13 years ago

Unfortunately the Cards (or at least a decent amount of Cards fans) would rather have any of the 3 RH relievers they traded away (Gregerson, Todd, Perez) over the last year than the one they kept (Motte).

VolsnCards5
13 years ago
Reply to  Steve

i’m a cards fan…i’d rather have perez than motte, but i still believe i’d take motte over the other two…i don’t think will ever be anything more than a middle relief type(long man even)…gregerson has been a revelation this season, and i could be wrong, but i have a suspicion that this is a fluke

motte will be much better next season than he has been this season methinks

Joe R
13 years ago
Reply to  VolsnCards5

To be fair, in 239 2/3 career professional innings (Majors & Minors), he’s only given up 8 HR.

Unsustainable? Maybe, his HR/FB is just 3.6% (PETCO-induced, highly likely), but his IFFB rate puts him 11th of 148 relievers. I think this would be helped a lot by looking at his “stuff”, because I do think it’s possible to induce pop ups and have a low career HR/FB rate (see Mariano Rivera).

Am I saying Luke Gregerson is going to be the next Mariano Rivera?…yes, this is exactly what I’m saying.

Steve
13 years ago
Reply to  VolsnCards5

I hope you’re right. It was probably some hyperbole on my part. You’re right in that Motte still has the highest ceiling probably. I still think odds are decent that all 3 (non Perez) end up as middle reliever types.

VolsnCards5
13 years ago
Reply to  VolsnCards5

the third sentence is supposed to say, i don’t think TODD will ever be anything more…

VolsnCards5
13 years ago
Reply to  VolsnCards5

and i hope, for gregerson’s sake, he is the next rivera…and i hope if that is the case, the padres trade him back to st. louis for joe thurston