The Cincinnati Reds have released the right-handed relief pitcher Kevin Gregg, according to a team announcement. The 37-year-old reliever after he put up an ugly 10.13 ERA in 11 appearances as the primary setup man for Reds closer Aroldis Chapman. The team called up right-handed relief pitcher Pedro Villarreal from their Triple-A affiliate at Louisville to replace him.
Gregg's Cincinnati stat line was ominously similar to the 10.00 ERA he threw last season with the Marlins in 12 appearances over 9 innings. He posted an odious ERA+ of 39 for both teams and it's hard to imagine he'll find any interest after this latest debacle.
A former closer himself with 177 saves and a career 4.24 ERA on his resume over 13 seasons with six teams, Gregg's year with the Reds was a disaster from beginning to end. On Opening Day he was handed a save opportunity and served up a two-run home run that tied the game, and with that one swing of a bat the newcomer seemingly became the face of the team's misfortunes as the team descended in the standings and his late-inning failures became a lightning rod for the fan base's frustrations.
He surrendered runs in all but three of his appearances. In his final one on Thursday against the Pirates, he came into the game in the seventh inning down one run and promptly coughed up three more.
After that game, a fan started an online petition demanding the team send him down to the minors and by the end of the weekend more than 3,000 fans had signed it.