St. Louis Cardinals: Luke Gregerson on track to return

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 29: Luke Gregerson
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 29: Luke Gregerson /

The St. Louis Cardinals have announced that their presumed closer who is on rest for an oblique injury is on track for his return and could be back as early as next week.

The St. Louis Cardinals faced their first touch of injury during Spring Training in the form of Luke Gregerson who was placed on rest for an oblique injury. Gregerson is the presumed closer for the 2018 season but the St. Louis Cardinals do have others who could step in if needed.

Last week, Gregerson exited active duty after having appeared in only one game and one inning this spring. That said, his one inning was a successful one with him facing only three batters. Of those, he struck out two of them and recorded the third out without surrendering a hit.

Two strikeouts across three batters is the makings of a dominant closer and that is precisely what the St. Louis Cardinals hope Gregerson will become for them this season. But if he cannot return from injury, or if he is injury-prone, then the St. Louis Cardinals do have others who can step in. For more on this, check out Brian’s post from five days ago below.

Related Story: Closer backups

To remind us of what Gregerson could be, let’s look at a few graphs of his numbers. First up, his pitching value in his career:

Player Value–Pitching
9 Seasons599.062302233.354.410.10-0.3292.93.70192.11.42-$29,579,300
SDP (5 yrs)347.036301253.244.310.08-0.3292.03.59121.31.44-0.53.942.504.502$6,014,300
HOU (3 yrs)179.21880783.914.630.09-0.3393.53.92-2-0.21.33-0.41.318.499.500$18,500,000
OAK (1 yr)72.1720202.494.330.19-0.3295.93.6680.91.570.11.716.513.506$5,065,000

Now, let’s take a look at his postseason experience:

Postseason Pitching
3 Yrs (6 Series)001.0810050038.151115013102361.2005.41.15.414.02.60
2 ALWC000.002010011.2100010400171.2005.40.05.421.64.00
2 ALDS001.805030025.03111207100211.0005.41.83.612.63.50
1 ALCS000.001010000.2000010000031.5000.
1 WS000.002000001.0100010200152.0009.

Should Mike Maddux work his magic and make Gregerson the closer that he was with Houston, then the St. Louis Cardinals have something positive on their hands.

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Unfortunately, however, Gregerson will turn 34 in May and with age usually comes injuries.

The oblique injury may in fact be the first glance of age-related injuries to come…

That said, the news from the St. Louis Cardinals camp of Gregerson’s potential return next week is what hopeful fans should like to hear. Fans hoping for another closer other than Gregerson may not be as excited about the news.

Here’s my take: Gregerson has a commitment from the team. While I would like to have someone like Greg Holland over Gregerson, Gregerson is the name we have. When I’m on an airplane at 36k feet, I don’t second guess the pilot I have.

That said, I hope the pilot I have is skilled enough to do his/her job. I must therefore wish and hope the same for Gregerson.

Next: New left field experiment?

Money paid for a player is paid for service. Gregerson needs to be healthy. Period.