The only thing missing from the Blue Jays’ clubhouse here at The Mattick today was a few tumbleweeds drifting through. Today was Physicals Day. With the medicals being held off-site, that meant few players made the trek to camp.
The official reporting date was Saturday and the first official workout is Monday. As a result, Sunday turns into an unofficial day off for the players. When I did my first walk-through this morning, every chair in the clubhouse was pushed neatly up against its corresponding locker. Not one had been moved.
Cue the crickets.
A few players did show up, though. Some coaches wandered through and John McDonald strolled in with Jeremy Reed and the pair played some catch. Jose Molina, Raul Chavez and John Buck made appearances.
And, Kevin Gregg showed up for the first time.
Gregg would love nothing more than to head north with the Blue Jays as the primary closer. That said, nothing is guaranteed and he knows he is competing against Scott Downs and Jason Frasor for the job. Gregg also knows that having three pitchers who can fill that role is only a good thing for the Jays.
“Whatever role we all end up in, you’re making that bullpen pretty deep,” Gregg said. “Looking at the starters and seeing these guys are pretty young, with what they’ve done and what they’ve accomplished, it allows us to shorten the game. We’re not going to have to push those guys and try to get them into the seventh and eighth inning.
“When you’ve got three guys that can close the door at the back end, it really helps out the starters and their situation, too. It let’s everybody grow.”
If it were my decision, I’d say throw Frasor in the closer’s role and let him run with it, especially with how he pitched last year. But, if Gregg has a decent spring, I think the job is his. He has 84 career saves. Downs and Frasor combined have 48. If it’s an even match, I think experience will prevail in this race.
Then again, if the Jays want to float Downs or Frasor at the Trade Deadline, having one of them open as the closer could increase their potential market value. So maybe Frasor wins the job after all.
Who’s your closer?