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5/14/1984 (32 y, 9 m, 15 d)
2006 June Amateur Draft - Round: 28, Pick: 30, Overall: 856, Team: St. Louis Cardinals
$18.5M / 3 Years (2015 - 2017)
Gregerson said he has been working on his changeup and would like to incorporate the third pitch next season, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports. (2/21/2017)
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(Click Year to Expand /
Like Mike Adams, Gregerson is going to be a popular target for those looking to scoop up some saves from the Padres’ relief corps. However, I expect Adams to get the nod as the ninth inning guy once Heath Bell is traded in large part due to their different HR rates over the last few years. While HR/FB rates are inconsistent, the picture of a reliever giving up a late inning bomb can stay with a manager for a long time, and Gregerson gave up eight home runs last year, while Adams has only given up three in the last two years. Managers are loathe to put a pitcher in during the ninth inning who they fear might give up a lead with one pitch, and fair or not, Adams has been able to engender more trust that his pitches will stay in the park. Gregerson may get some save opportunities, but I wouldn’t recommend paying for him with the expectation of more than a half dozen or so. (Dave Cameron)
The Quick Opinion:
A good reliever who is further down the totem pole of potential closers, you should approach him as if he's going to pitch in the setup role all season.
Gregerson's performance declined significantly in 2011, as his usually high strikeout rate (10.68 from 2009-2010) was basically cut in half (5.50 in 2011) and right-handed batters handled him substantially better than they had in the past (.168/.228/.253 from 2009-2010 but .329/.394/.376 in 2011). His fastball velocity dropped more than a full mile an hour (91.1 MPH from 2009-2010 but 89.7 in 2011) while trademark slider gained velocity (83.6 MPH from 2009-2010 to 85.1 in 2011), which is generally bad news because the separation between the two pitches began to disappear. Sliders that used to generate swings and misses are now being put in play or fouled off, and a sharp decline in his slider whiff rate (23.4% from 2009-2010 but 17.0% in 2011) backs this up. Gregerson has thrown 54.3% sliders in his three seasons with San Diego, and extreme slider usage like that tends to lead to arm problems down the road (Brad Lidge and Brett Anderson are notable examples). Assuming he stays on the field, the big righty is slated to be Huston Street's primary setup man in 2012 with a chance to rack up a ton of holds again. The strikeout decline is a real problem though, one worth paying attention to. (Mike Axisa)
The Quick Opinion:
A sharp decline in strikeout rate (10.68 from 2009-2010 but 5.50 in 2011) is best explained by a sudden lack of separation between Gregerson's fastball and trademark slider, which generated considerably fewer whiffs in 2011. He's going to be Huston Street's primary setup man next year, but there's a lot of risk here given his extreme slider usage (54.3%).
After a down year in 2011 that saw his strikeout rate drop to a career-worst 5.5 per nine, Gregerson returned to form in 2012 and continued his success as the top set-up man in San Diego. While his strikeout rate failed to return to the double-digit marks we've seen in the past, the 9.04 K/9 was still strong when paired with a reduced walk rate and an increase in ground balls induced. Reluctant to toy with the improvements, the Padres passed over Gregerson for the closer's job when Huston Street first landed on the disabled list, but ultimately turned to him late in the year when the position went vacant for the second time. The results were strong as Gregerson recorded nine saves with a 1.50 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 24 innings from late August through the end of the season. He'll return to his regular set-up duties for the Padres in 2013, but look for him to be a strong saves sleeper as the team probably won't pass him over for the job again when Street makes his annual DL trip. (Howard Bender)
The Quick Opinion:
Gregerson has been a staple in the Padres bullpen since 2009 and will continue to be an integral set-up man heading into 2013. He finished 2012 as the team's closer but is expected to give way to Huston Street again once the season opens. However, given Street's track record for health, Gregerson should be considered a strong sleeper candidate for saves as he should be the next in line.
A staple of the Padres bullpen, Gregerson has been an outstanding bridge to closer Huston Street. Over the last two seasons he posted a combined ERA of 2.54 with a 8.90 strikeouts per nine over 138 innings in 150 appearances. While he's been one of the team's most reliable arms out of the bullpen, the Padres dealt the 29-year old right-hander to the Oaklnad A's in exchange for outfielder Seth Smith. In Oakland, he joins a very strong and experienced bullpen and will share the seventh and eight innings with Sean Doolittle and Ryan Cook as the bridges to closer Jim Johnson. Because of the quality of the back-end of the bullpen, it will be easier for Bob Melvin to play the match-ups on a regular basis. That could mean fewer holds for Gregerson and should anything happen to Johnson, it would seem that a committee approach would be in order rather than him just stepping in as he would have done in San Diego. From a numbers standpoint, though, there is no reason to think that he won't put up numbers similar to those of his last two years. (Howard Bender)
The Quick Opinion:
Though he had been one of the more reliable relievers in the San Diego pen, the Padres traded the 29-year old right-hander to the Oakland A's. He'll join a very strong and experienced bullpen and will share seventh and eighth inning duties. Overall, he should post numbers fairly similar to those of the last two seasons, but with such quality depth in the bullpen, he could lose out on a number of holds.
Gregerson's 7.34 strikeouts per nine innings rate in 2014 was his second lowest mark, but his 1.87 walks per nine rate was his best. His slider is still his primary pitch, even as it dropped to an all-time low average of 80.9 mph last year. Gregerson managed to post a strong 13.3% swinging strike rate, though that mark is below his 14.3% career average. His 30 shutdowns tied for 24th-most in the league and was right in line with his his 29 in 2013 and 34 in 2012. Coming in at 22 holds was good enough for Gregerson to crack the top 20 as well, and while his slider continues to lose velocity — this was the fourth year in a row that it dropped — he remains an effective high leverage reliever. (
The Quick Opinion:
The 30-year-old reliever is still a great source for holds, though he may not continue his high strikeout rates. His declining velocity in his slider isn't cause for concern yet, but be careful you don't over-reach for a reliever that may not get saves in Houston.
Luke Gregerson had a pretty stellar 2015 campaign, but struggled enough down the stretch and in the postseason that the Astros felt forced to sell a part of the farm and acquire closer Ken Giles from Philadelphia. Gregerson saw his strikeout and walk numbers improve over recent years, and he was fairly successful in doing what Houston asked of him -- saving 31 games. Now that his job has been taken from him, his saves are expected to plummet while his holds total goes up. He's still a very effective pitcher and would certainly be the first in line to close again should Giles struggle or become injured. His ERA saw a bit of a spike in 2015, though his peripheral numbers were quite strong. This could very well be chalked up to luck or to an Astros infield that struggled at times to convert routine plays. He should continue to provide a good number of strikeouts in 2016 and seems like a solid handcuff as he's still pitching for an Astros team that is expected to continue competing in the harsh American League West. (David Temple)
The Quick Opinion:
Gregerson will most likely be stripped of his closing duties in 2016, but should still be considered an asset in any league that puts value into holds, strikeouts, or thin goatees.
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Updated: Wednesday, March 1, 2017 3:38 AM ET
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