Hello, Bleed Cubbie Blue community. I have come from Bless You Boys and am interested in Kevin Gregg. The reason is quite obvious, I suppose. We're looking for relief pitchers that Jim Leyland can use as closers, and Gregg seems to be one of the pieces that could be had on the market. I don't watch many Cubs games, so I don't get a chance to see Gregg pitch. When I look at his peripherals, though, it puzzles me greatly. They seem to be a flurry of contradiction. I can't seem to figure out whether he's a ticking time bomb ready to implode, or simply having a good year.
For starters, his BABIP isn't so extreme to suggest he's pitching out of his mind. A BABIP .241 isn't so extreme from his career .290 BABIP. If you take out 2004-2006 when he pitched for Anaheim (which inflates his career BABIP, because he had three straight years of a BABIP over .300), then his .241 BABIP isn't far off from a reduced .277 BABIP career average. So his BABIP seems to suggest he's just having a good/career year rather than pitching out of his mind and getting good defensive plays behind him.
His FIP, xFIP, and SIERA also suggest that he isn't playing out of his mind too much either when factoring what he is doing skill wise and independent of the fielders.
What concerns me are some other peripherals. For starters, he's getting fewer groundballs as a sinker baller (10% fewer than last year), and more line drives and fly balls than last year, yet he's doing fine. His LOB% is also very high. Nothing in his arsenal stands out as excellent except his Fastball/Sinker (the only pitch rated above average by fangraphs). He's also walking fewer than 3 per nine innings, which is just the third time in his career.
Contact is slightly down, but nothing is extreme. His first pitch strike percentage, though, is down 10% from last year.
I can't figure this out. I figured you guys who watch him might be able to answer my question, which would be this: Would Gregg be a decent acquisition or a disaster waiting to happen?