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

8 Comments

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.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $35,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Monday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on MondayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
3 Comments

Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.