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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Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.
Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.
Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.
As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.