March 31, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Luke Gregerson (44) delivers a pitch against the Cleveland Indians in the seventh inning of an opening day baseball game at Coliseum. The Indians defeated the Athletics 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Athletics leaning on Gregerson, Doolittle for closing

The Oakland Athletics thought they were getting a great lock-down 9th inning guy to replace Grant Balfour.

They traded infielder Jemile Weeks to Baltimore in exchange for $10 million dollar man Jim Johnson. Johnson has led baseball over the last two seasons with 101 saves from 2012-2013, but he showed signs of faltering last season and has been displaced as closer this season, just ten games in.

Manager Bob Melvin spoke to MLB Network Radio and said that the team would be relying mostly on Luke Gregerson and Sean Doolittle to finish out their games in close situations. After Johnson was ruled out as closer, the Athletics decided to go to a closer-by-committee for now.

Gregerson cemented himself as a key bullpen piece for the San Diego Padres, assuming a set up role to Huston Street. He was traded to Oakland for Seth Smith to do the same for the A’s. He has earned a small handful of saves during his time in San Diego and has already picked up one with Oakland.

Doolittle is an incumbent to the A’s bullpen. He picked up a couple of saves last year when Balfour wasn’t available and has already saved a game this season.

On a team that is known for platooning, it appears that the closer position could platoon – Gregerson is right handed and Doolittle is a lefty.

Tags: Oakland Athletics