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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Luke Gregerson thinks he should keep closer job ahead of Ken Giles


The Houston Astros brought in established closer Ken Giles this offseason, and conventional wisdom states that he’ll be taking over the role. The team’s closer last year, Luke Gregerson, thinks that it’s his job to lose.

“How do you think I did last year?” Gregerson said to reporters on Thursday, via Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. “I don’t see any reasons things should change. Obviously, bringing the guy we brought in, he’s got a strong power arm, he’s shown that he can get guys out in the major league level and I think he’s going to be a great addition to our bullpen no matter where we all fit in.

“I don’t see any reason why I should lose my job because of it, yeah,” Gregerson continued. “I was pretty happy with the way things went last year. I think it could have went even better, just a few outings here and there. We’ll just move forward and see where it takes us.”

Gregerson did a solid job for Houston in 2015, his first season as a closer in the majors, with a 3.10 ERA and 31 saves. He was, however, complicit in the game four playoff meltdown against Kansas City, which may shape opinion some for a franchise that suddenly thinks they can win in the playoffs. Not only that, but Giles’s 1.80 ERA in Philadelphia beats Gregerson’s, and the new guy struck out batters at a higher rate than the incumbent. There’s a reason that the Astros were so hell-bent on acquiring a closer during the offseason, and they didn’t trade several premium prospects for Giles to have him pitch the 8th inning. Gregerson may not be happy about it, but it looks like he’s headed back to the 8th inning.

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