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Gregg showing he can contribute out of 'pen


GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly got another look at his bullpen Saturday with scoreless innings from Brandon League, Kenley Jansen, J.P. Howell, Shawn Tolleson and Paco Rodriguez.

But Mattingly made a point of mentioning the perfect inning from Kevin Gregg, the former closer looking to rebound from a disappointing 2012 as a non-roster invitee on a very crowded pitching staff. Mattingly also isn't quite sure how the Dodgers got Gregg on a Minor League deal.

"He's a strike thrower," said Mattingly. "He's big (6-6, 220). He came here in good shape, he throws strikes. He gets outs. Okay. He's a guy with experience and all of a sudden he doesn't get a look for a big-league job?"

Gregg rose to the role of closer for five years with the Marlins, Cubs, Blue Jays and Orioles. His 144 career saves are more than League, Jansen, Howell, Javy Guerra and Ronald Belisario combined.

Gregg, 34, was 3-2 with a 4.95 ERA last year with Baltimore before being released in September. He can't explain why he couldn't land a Major League contract. But he can explain why he's held opponents scoreless in four Spring appearances, allowing only one hit in five innings.

"I'm trying to win a spot on the team," he said. "I took a long, hard look in the mirror after last year, and I knew what I had to do. Now I've got to keep showing them."

Gregg said he can't worry about the number of pitchers he'll have to pass to make the Opening Day roster. All he can do is pitch well enough so somebody wants him and it could be the Dodgers, who otherwise have the makings of a young bullpen. He was philosophical about looking for a job despite a legit resume.

"I'm not bitter," he said. "The game is interesting. You play long enough, you understand the business, the politics and you go forward. A long time ago I was in Oakland and a guy told me that one team's trash is another team's gem. Sometimes it doesn't work with one team, you just roll with the punches. I'm here to throw strikes, to show I'm healthy and I'll let the rest speak for itself."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }
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