When the Arizona Diamondbacks and their manager, Kirk Gibson, elected to hand the ball to right-handed specialist Brad Ziegler in a save situation on Sunday, much of the baseball media began to speculate on whether there had been a wholesale shift in the ninth inning role for the club. However, it didn’t take long for Gibson to back the incumbent closer, Addison Reed, as “the guy” moving forward.
Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic brings the latest:
Gibson said he went to Ziegler because Reed’s arm was fatigued. Reed threw 12 pitches against Atlanta on Saturday and had made appearances last Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday as well. Gibson also noted the times Reed had warmed up in the bullpen but not come into a game.
“He’s pitched a lot,” Gibson said. “If you look at his games you wouldn’t think he’s pitched as much as the other guys, but when you’re a closer you have to get up a lot. He just has a tired arm. It’s nothing serious or anything like that. We’re just giving him a day to recover.”
“Addison has been pretty damn good,” Gibson said.
The 25-year-old Reed was acquired in a major trade from Chicago White Sox during the off-season, but the right-hander has had some visible struggles in his limited action with Arizona. In just over 28 innings of work, Reed has allowed a staggering 8 home runs, and his ERA reflects those issues while sitting at 4.28. On the positive side, these home run issues are slightly out of character for Reed, and his control (1.27 walks per 9 innings) has been sharp for the most part.
The Diamondbacks would potentially be in a pickle with Reed if they had a fantastic secondary option, but when their lack of in-house candidates merges with the high investment in Reed, it appears as if he’ll be given every opportunity to succeed.