Jays can use Gregg, but Gaston all for rest

Jays can use Gregg, but Gaston all for rest

TORONTO -- Despite closer Kevin Gregg's recent struggles, manager Cito Gaston insisted that no alarms have been set off, and that Gregg -- who threw 40 pitches on Tuesday -- is available to pitch in Friday's contest against the Yankees.

That being said, Gaston said he wouldn't mind giving the big right-handed closer one more day to recharge the batteries.

"It's a long year," Gaston said. "I consider that I had a pretty good arm when I was playing, and when I took a day off from throwing, taking infield and stuff, my arm got stronger. I hear all this stuff about throwing every day, and all this stuff that makes you better, and I firmly don't believe in it. A lot of people do, but I don't.

"[I'd like to] give his arm a little more rest, but he's ready to go. Let's hope that we have to use him, it means we're winning."

Pitching on consecutive days has been a serious problem for Gregg this season. Gregg's last save opportunity, in which he coughed up four runs in Tuesday 7-6 loss to the Rays, came one day after he pitched a scoreless ninth frame. His splits when pitching on back-to-back days are not pretty -- an 0-2 record over 5 1/3 innings, with a 13.50 ERA.

Gaston said that while Gregg's velocity is fine, it's his lack of control on the second day that is disconcerting. Gregg has issued 10 of his 15 walks, with all three of his blown saves occurring when pitching consecutive days. In spite of the poor contrast, Gaston said he would only consider not throwing Gregg on back-to-back nights, if his pitch count on the previous night exceeded 25 to 30 pitches.

On the season, Gregg has recorded 15 saves, boasting a 4.50 ERA over 24 innings pitched.