MILWAUKEE (AP) -Reliever Kevin Gregg's recent performances have been enough for Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez to decide just what role Gregg is taking in the bullpen with former closer Henry Owens rejoining the team.
``Kevin's going to be the guy who is going to be closing for us,'' Gonzalez said Thursday night before the Marlins played the Milwaukee Brewers. ``I think he deserves that opportunity.''
Gregg (0-2) has converted all six of his save opportunities - five since May 16 - and has not allowed an earned run since May 9, a span of 11 appearances. Gregg also had to deal with back-to-back games where he was brought in with the bases loaded against the Cubs.
Gonzalez said he's been impressed with Gregg's versatility, having worked him in a variety of situations before Owens went on the disabled list with right rotator cuff tendinitis on May 11.
``He's thrown in the middle of the game, he's thrown at the end of games,'' Gonzalez said. ``(Now) we've give him the opportunity to close and he's closed ballgames out.''
Both Owens and Gregg have been a significant upgrade to Jorge Julio, who the Marlins had hoped would be the closer after saving 16 games with the Mets and Diamondbacks last season.
Julio spent time on the DL, went 0-2 with a 12.54 ERA in 10 relief appearances and was dealt to the Colorado Rockies on May 13 for another troubled pitcher, Byung-Hyun Kim.
Owens joined the Marlins along with reliever Matt Lindstrom from the Mets in the offseason for left-handed pitchers Jason Vargas and Adam Bostick.
Owens rejoined the team in Milwaukee on Thursday and was activated just before the game as the team optioned right-handed reliever Lee Gardner to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Gonzalez said he wasn't sure if he'd use Owens right away, but that his return bolsters a bullpen that has also gotten a lift from Lindstrom in the setup role.
``For us, it only adds depth,'' Gonzalez said.
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