For months Robin Ventura has played coy about the White Sox’s closer role, refusing to give anyone that title, but yesterday he finally relented and made official what has been obvious: The job belongs to rookie Addison Reed.
“He’s earned that,” Ventura told Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago. “I feel comfortable with him in there. That’s who we’d be using if we’re winning. I don’t think he care. I just think he just wants the ball and pitches.”
Reed was the seemingly obvious choice to replace Sergio Santos at closer the whole time, but for whatever reason Ventura decided to go with fellow rookie Hector Santiago early on despite little in his track record suggesting he could thrive in the role.
On the other hand Reed has done nothing but dominate since the White Sox drafted him in the third round two years ago, storming through the minors and then beginning his big-league career with a 29/8 K/BB ratio in 21 innings. And if things go according to plan for the White Sox, Reed, and Ventura the first-year manager might not have to name another closer until he’s a 10th-year manager.
The Nationals have acquired left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski and cash considerations from the A’s in exchange for minor league infielder Max Schrock.
Schrock is a 21-year-old second baseman who has been pretty darn impressive in A-ball this year, but the Nats can be excused for giving up promise in 2018 or whatever for some bullpen help come playoff time. Rzepczynski walks a few too many guys for my taste but he strikes ’em out at a pretty decent rate for a LOOGY and the Nats could use another southpaw reliever apart from Oliver Perez. This is especially true given how many tough lefty hitters they may face in the playoffs.
On the basic merits, sure, Rzepczynski for Schrock may look pretty dang good for the A’s in a few years. But this October the A’s will be watching on TV from home while the Nats will be trying to win it all, making the trade pretty darn understandable from their point of view.
Meanwhile, in Tulsa, Zach Welz of the visiting Arkansas Travelers made a spectacular catch. It was the catch Torii Hunter tried to make on that famous David Ortiz homer in the playoffs a few years back except Welz made it.
Watch as he topples over the wall to come up with the would-be dinger off the bat of Tulsa Drillers first baseman Cody Bellinger: