Gregg to remain closer when Henry returns
"Kevin's going to be the guy who is going to be closing for us," Gonzalez said Thursday night before the Marlins lost 4-3 to the the Milwaukee Brewers. "I think he deserves that opportunity."
"We'll sit down and talk to him," Gonzalez said of Benitez. "Right now, Kevin has earned that opportunity [to close] and we'll see."
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. The right-hander 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.
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, who took the loss on Thursday, in the setup role.
"For us, it only adds depth," Gonzalez said.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press