After allowing four runs in the ninth inning on Friday, Cubs closer Kevin Gregg told reporters he was unhappy with the team for the way he was being treated. The club has been planning to give setup man Pedro Strop a few save opportunities to see how he handles the role.
“I expected to be treated a little bit better than this," said Gregg, who apologized to manager Dale Sveum and vice president of baseball operations Theo Epstein after being called into Sveum's office following the game.
"I told him how disappointed I was with him given the way we treated him this year -- bringing him back after the first stint didn't go well," Epstein said. "He ran to the media. That was his decision. I told him, as a man, I didn't respect that. ... After a couple minutes he understood that he was wrong and apologized profusely."
Epstein later added he will consider releasing Gregg, but will sleep on it before making a final decision.
Gregg, 35, saw his ERA rise from 2.90 to 3.45 with Friday's disastrous outing. He's gone 32 for 37 in save chances after being picked up off the scrap heap earlier this season. Gregg was with the Dodgers in spring training.
The Cubs acquired Strop from the Orioles in the Scott Feldman trade earlier this summer. The 28-year-old has a 2.84 ERA and 10.2 K/9 in 31 2/3 innings for Chicago since the deal and obviously has more of a long-term future with the organization.
Coincidentally, Gregg triggered a $500,000 performance bonus by finishing his 50th game of the season on Friday. Hard to complain about being treated poorly when you hit a bonus like that after being unemployed on opening day.
The Cubs lost Friday's game 9-5 to the Braves because of Gregg's ninth inning work.