I was talking a little bit about this last week in the case of Travis Shaw and Hanley Ramirez. Shaw had some interesting comments about how he was gunning for the starting job on Opening Day, and I had mentioned how I loved that attitude. Spare me the fake ass “I’ll do whatever the team needs me to do” comments, and tell me how you really feel. If you think that’s your job, and you didn’t deserve to lose it — which in both cases, that applies — then just come right out and say it. It’s refreshing to hear genuine honesty from a professional athlete these days.
They’re human beings just like you and me, and if I racked up 31 saves and struck out 59 batters in 61 innings for a team that made the postseason, then I’d be pretty ripshit too if I lost my job. Now, just because I like his attitude doesn’t mean that I’m on his side here. In the case of Hanley Ramirez and Travis Shaw, Shaw didn’t deserve to lose his job because he’s a better first baseman than Hanley. But in the case of Gregerson versus Giles, I feel for the guy, and I love that he’s vocal about his displeasure regarding the decision, but it’s the right decision.
To Gregerson’s question of “How’d you think I did last year?”, the answer is: pretty damn good. But if you ask me how I thought Giles did last year, my answer would be that he was much better than you. In 2015, Giles struck out 87 batters in 70 innings with a 1.80 ERA and 2.13 FIP, compared to Gregerson’s 3.10 ERA and 2.86 FIP.
So does Gregerson have a right to be upset about his demotion? Hell yeah, he does. He did a really nice job in his first year as the full-time closer for the Astros. But is naming Giles the closer for the Astros the right call? Absolutely.