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2018 VEB Community Projections: Luke Gregerson

The new Cardinals closer has been a standout before but struggled last season. Where will he stand in 2018?

MLB: Spring Training-St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Here is a bare-bones synopsis of the career of new St. Louis Cardinals closer Luke Gregerson.

  • 2009: It is announced that Luke Gregerson, who spent the 2008 season with the Springfield Cardinals, the AA affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, would be the Player To Be Named Later in the December 2008 trade which sent Mark Worrell to the San Diego Padres and shortstop Khalil Greene to the Cardinals. Gregerson proceeds to be extremely successful as a rookie, with a 3.24 ERA and 2.50 FIP.
  • 2014: Following a successful season with the Oakland Athletics, Gregerson hit free agency and was signed by the Houston Astros with the intention of becoming the closer for a team looking ready to ascend. In years one and two of his three year contract, Gregerson was good—not great, but good. Perfectly cromulent, to shoehorn a Simpsons reference that I, as a sports blogger, am required to make at least five times a year. Oh, and Springsteen references. One might say I’m...born to run a dozen Boss references in my posts per year.
  • 2017: Gregerson is downright bad by ERA (4.57) and FIP (4.62). His xFIP, which normalizes his home run rate to the league’s typical home run to fly ball rate, is more defensible (3.45), but it’s his worst year in Major League Baseball. He is barely used in the postseason. It was a bad year to have as your contract year. And in December, Gregerson signs for a lower average annual value than he had in his previous contract.

Are you expecting a bounce-back? To varying extents, ZiPS, Steamer, and Baseball Prospectus’s Pecota projections do. Take a guess at what you think will happen with Gregerson below.