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Diamondbacks sticking with Addison Reed as their closer despite all the homers

Jun 9, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

Addison Reed Diamondbacks AP

Arizona invested a ton of money and resources into building a strong, deep bullpen this season and yet Addison Reed has a 4.13 ERA with an astounding eight home runs allowed in 28 innings as the closer.

He’s also blown two saves and taken three losses, and when the Diamondbacks needed a save converted Sunday it was Brad Zeigler getting the call, but afterward manager Kirk Gibson made it clear that he’s sticking with Reed in the ninth inning:

He’s pitched a lot. 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.

Of course, as Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic notes, Zeigler had actually pitched on four of the previous five days, so using him over Reed because Reed was overworked is an interesting explanation.

Reed has always had a problem serving up too many homers and that’s one of the reasons why many people (myself included) felt the Diamondbacks gave up too much to acquire him from the White Sox this offseason. There are 46 active pitchers with 50 or more career saves and Reed has the second-highest home run rate behind only Kyle Farnsworth.

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  1. proudlycanadian - Jun 9, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    He is better than Grant Balfour.

    • madhatternalice - Jun 9, 2014 at 10:38 AM

      We (rightly so) mocked the whole Balfour/Orioles deal this offseason, but I don’t think even the O’s expected him to be that bad.

  2. gbrim - Jun 9, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    Fastball is low 90s with no movement, slider is MIA this year. Minimal command. Easy to see why the White Sox were not interested in keeping Reed as their closer. Still have no idea why Towers thought this was a good move. Ziegler should be the closer–reliable, steady, rubber arm, pretty effective when used in that role. Is he elite? No, but he is better than Reed by a wide margin.

  3. historiophiliac - Jun 9, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    Is it Crappy Closer Day or something?

  4. yahmule - Jun 9, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    HR/FB in 2012 – 6.8%
    HR/FB in 2013 – 8.6%
    HR/FB in 2014 – 20%

    With normal regression, he should be fine. His other peripherals look better than ever. His K rate is up slightly and he’s more than halved his BB rate.

    K/BB in 2012 – 3.0
    K/BB in 2013 – 3.13
    K/BB in 2014 – 7.75

    Based on what I see here, he might be catching a little more home plate than he would like right now. He has never been the most consistent closer, but he’s more than adequate. If they’re patient, he should right the ship. If they’re not, then Ziegler has had successful stretches as a closer before and should again.

  5. gloccamorra - Jun 9, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    Huston Street did the same thing last year, giving up ten homers in 26-1/3 innings with a 4.78 ERA by June 23rd. He finished with 56-1/3 innings, 12 homers total and a 2.70 ERA, with 33 saves. He adjusted his hanging slider delivery and didn’t blow a save until the last game of the season.

    If Reed can make some adjustments, he can turn it around. If he can’t…

  6. djjackson81 - Jun 9, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Not like Reed is locked into a contract for years in AZ. Just keeping the seat warm for Barrett or Stites.

  7. bolweevils2 - Jun 9, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    I was going to say “What’s the difference whether the continue to use him as closer when they are 15 games out in early June? They are going nowhere.” But they are only 5.5 games out of a wild card, so even with a lot of teams in between I guess the post season isn’t impossible.

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