First the Diamondbacks stripped Addison Reed of closing duties and now they’ve demoted the right-hander with a $4.9 million salary to Triple-A at age 26.
Reed saved 101 games from 2012-2014, including 32 games for the Diamondbacks last season after the team’s previous front office regime acquired the so-called proven closer from the White Sox. But throughout all the saves Reed had a 4.20 ERA and served up way too many homers to be reliable in the late innings.
He’s regressed even further this season, allowing 16 runs in 24 innings for a 5.92 ERA, and Reed will likely have to put together a good stretch at Triple-A just to re-enter the Diamondbacks’ plans as a middle reliever.
Side-arming setup man Brad Ziegler has stepped into the closer role for Arizona and done a very nice job, saving 10 games with a 1.50 ERA in 30 innings.
Astros starter Justin Verlander was voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America as the 2019 American League Cy Young Award winner. Teammate Gerrit Cole finished in a close second place at 159 points. Charlie Morton finished third at 75 points, Shane Bieber fourth at 64, Lance Lynn fifth at 18, Eduardo Rodríguez and Lucas Giolito sixth at eight, and Mike Minor eighth at seven.
Verlander, 36, won the AL Cy Young Award (and AL MVP Award) in 2011 with the Tigers). He and Cole became the first pair of teammates to finish first and second on the ballot for the AL Cy Young Award. Four NL teammates accomplished the feat: Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in 2001 and ’02, Don Newcomb and Sal Maglie in 1956, and Mike Marshall and Andy Messersmith in 1974.
During the regular season, Verlander led all starting pitchers in wins (21), games started (34), innings pitched (223), and WHIP (0.803). He also compiled a 2.58 ERA with a 300/42 K/BB ratio. Along with a 300-strikeout season, Verlander achieved other milestones, including reaching 3,000 strikeouts for his career and 200 career postseason strikeouts (an all-time record).
2019 was not without controversy for Verlander, a future Hall of Famer, as he had a well-publicized disagreement with Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. He tried to have Fenech barred from the clubhouse during media availability despite the collective bargaining agreement ensuring access to BBWAA-credentialed reporters. It was one of many Astros-related scandals in 2019.
Verlander is the first Astro to win the Cy Young Award since Dallas Keuchel in 2015. Roger Clemens (2004) and Mike Scott (1986) also won the award back when the Astros were in the National League.