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Addison Reed: Not Just A One Pitch Pitcher

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Tuesday, April.09/2013

Reed didn't start out the 2012 season as the Sox Closer. That honor was given to Hector Santiago, a young Left-Hander, now used primarily for long relief. Santiago's big selling point was his nasty screwball. But, he eventually had problems throwing it, or any pitch, for strikes. Once Santiago began to struggle, Reed eventually worked his way into the closer's role.  3 Saves, 1-0 record, 0.00 ERA. Not a bad start to a season for one of baseball's up and coming Closers.

Reed didn’t start out the 2012 season as the Sox Closer. That honor was given to Hector Santiago, a young Left-Hander, now used primarily for long relief. Santiago’s big selling point was his nasty screwball. But, he eventually had problems throwing it, or any pitch, for strikes. Once Santiago began to struggle, Reed eventually worked his way into the closer’s role. 3 Saves, 1-0 record, 0.00 ERA. Not a bad start to a season for one of baseball’s up and coming Closers – which has helped propel the Sox into 1st place in the American League Central.

By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent) 

While the baseball world focuses its eyes on young arms like Stephen Strasburg, Dylan Bundy, and Jose Fernandez (for good reason), White Sox closer Addison Reed has raised some eyebrows in the first 6 games of this season.

Though Reed made his first MLB appearance in 2011 as a September call-up, he didn’t make a real impact until 2012. Reed saved 29 games last year with an ERA of 4.75. Not stellar numbers for sure, but also not shabby for a rookie.

He picked up the first Save of his career in May of 2012 and was officially named the Closer by month’s end.

Addison Reed of the San Diego Aztecs:

2005 comes to mind (often does with a White Sox fan) and how Bobby Jenks used to struggle in a "Non-Save situation". Jenks also threw 100 MPH, so maybe it was a little easier to get out of trouble. But he, just like Reed, seemed to suffer from the same "Non-Save" illness. Now, Jenks had a brilliant 2005, and the Sox caught a little bit of lightning in the bottle. But it wasn't until the next season when Jenks developed a devastating curveball that he became a really good, and consistent Closer.

2005 comes to mind (often does with a White Sox fan) and how Bobby Jenks used to struggle in a “Non-Save situation”. Jenks also threw 100 MPH, so maybe it was a little easier to get out of trouble. But he, just like Reed, seemed to suffer from the same “Non-Save” illness. Now, Jenks had a brilliant 2005, and the Sox caught a little bit of lightning in the bottle. But it wasn’t until the next season when Jenks developed a devastating curveball that he became a really good, and consistent Closer.

At that point in time, Reed was just a one-pitch-pitcher. He threw a fastball, anywhere from 92 MPH – 95 MPH. The fastball had good movement, but was the only pitch in Reed’s arsenal that he could get over the plate.

More often than not last year, Reed would get the job done, as evidenced by his 29 Saves. But, he couldn’t get his slider over consistently.

That seems to have changed in 2013. It’s early, but Reed is a perfect 3 for 3 in Save chances so far this year. He even managed to get a win yesterday in a walk-off victory for the Sox against the Mariners. The win came in the always famous “Non-Save situation for a Closer”.

The “non-save situation for a Closer” has become somewhat famous here on the South Side for the White Sox. It simply means when a team’s “closer” makes an appearance in a ball game in which he will not earn a Save.

There is apparently a completely different mentality involved in closing a game (what a closer is used to) versus a “Non-Save situation”. This makes sense, a closer comes in, adrenaline pumping, ready to win the game for his team.

Presented with a situation in a game which is out of hand, the pressure is off.

Now back to Reed. He didn’t have quite the success (or World Series ring) that Jenks experienced. But, Reed has now developed a wicked slider. Yesterday’s series finale against Seattle was a perfect example.

Bottom of the tenth, NON-SAVE SITUATION, Reed appeared in the top of the 10th Inning. He put his first two runners of the season on base. He was facing, to this point, one of the most feared hitters in the game in Mike Morse, and he struck him out. On a fastball.Morse was sitting slider, slider, slider, just waiting for it. And Reed blew him away on a high fastball. Rewind back to 2012. Morse would have been sitting dead red, on a fastball. He may have made contact, maybe not. But this year, Reed is not a one pitch pitcher. Fastball. Slider. Take your pick.

Bottom of the tenth, NON-SAVE SITUATION, Reed appeared in the top of the 10th Inning. He put his first two runners of the season on base. He was facing, to this point, one of the most feared hitters in the game in Mike Morse, and he struck him out. On a fastball. Morse was sitting slider, slider, slider, just waiting for it. And Reed blew him away on a high fastball. Rewind back to 2012. Morse would have been sitting dead red, on a fastball. He may have made contact, maybe not. But this year, Reed is not a one pitch pitcher. Fastball. Slider. Take your pick.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

A big thank-you goes out to our ‘White Sox Correspondent’ Brian Madsen for preparing today’s featured article. Brian was born and raised in Chicago Heights, IL, a south suburb of Chicago.  He attended Illinois St. University, majoring in education/teaching.

Brian now lives in Joliet, IL with my wife Suzanne two daughters, Abby, 9, and Grace, 3. He has worked at The Little Guys Home Technology for 12 years as a salesman/system designer/custom integrator. Brian is an avid White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, and Bulls fan.  

a brian madsen

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Posted on April 9, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Addison Reed: Not Just A One Pitch Pitcher.

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