San Diego, Calif. - Former Saint Xavier University standout relief pitcher/outfielder Luke Gregerson (Lyons, Ill./Morton) was officially one of just 25 players named to the 2009 San Diego Padres' Opening Day roster when the names were released by the Major League Baseball (MLB) team Sunday afternoon. Gregerson, obtained last month (March 23) from the St. Louis Cardinals as the "player to be named" in the Khalil Greene deal, didn't allow a run in five spring appearances, allowing two hits in six innings with eight strikeouts. The Cardinals selected the former SXU closer in the 28th round of the 2006 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
"I am so proud of Luke and excited about his opportunity to pitch for a Major League Baseball club," said Saint Xavier University baseball coach Mike Dooley. "He worked extremely hard during his career here at SXU, especially his senior season. He got his chance and made the most of it. Making a MLB roster is such a rare feat and even more difficult for a player from a small school, so I hope Luke is aware of just how special he is."
Gregerson becomes just the fourth Cougar to make a MLB roster joining Joe Skalski (Cleveland Indians), Steve Wojciechowski (Oakland A's) and Kevin Sefcik (Philadelphia Phillies). The 24-year-old spent the 2008 season at Double-A Springfield. He made 57 appearances, all in relief, posting a 3.35 ERA in 75 1/3 innings. He struck out 78 against 26 walks and allowed six home runs, collecting 10 saves for the S-Cards. Gregerson has gone 16-12 overall with 48 saves, a 2.72 ERA (52 ER/172.1 IP) and 196 strikeouts in 138 relief appearances over parts of three minor league seasons in the Cardinals organization (2006-08).
On the mound for SXU, Gregerson had a stellar senior season as the team's closer in 2006 compiling nine saves and a 3-1 win-loss record with an impressive 0.68 earned-run average (ERA). In addition, as the team's starting right fielder over 58 games, he earned both CCAC and Region VII Player of the Year honors. Gregerson hit .330 (72-for-218) and recorded a team-leading 49 runs-batted-in (RBI) and 12 stolen bases. He also posted 15 doubles, five home runs and 46 runs scored.
The Padres open the regular season at 4:05 p.m. PT Monday at PETCO Park against the Los Angeles Dodgers with nine players making their first Opening Day roster.Click here to see the San Diego Padres release about GregersonClick here to track Gregerson's first Major League Baseball season with the Padres