MLB: The AZ Diamondbacks Closer Issues
For baseball fans, nothing is more frustrating than a blown save! Your team spends the better part of a game getting a lead or rallies to capture the lead; then the ninth inning arrives and your closer comes out; fans are cheering for him to serve up three quick outs for the win; then it happens, a few hits, runners are on base and the next thing you know the closer has blown the save and a defeated team racks up a loss.
If the Arizona Diamondbacks want to stay competitive, and keep fans interested over the next few months, they need to consider moving Addison Reed out of the closer spot. The Diamondbacks are last in MLB in saves through Wednesday’s game. Reed, who has pitched in 11 games this season, is 0 and 2 and has given up 15 hits, with eight earned runs. He has blown two saves and his ERA is 7.20. Last year Reed was less than lights-out as the Diamondbacks closer, blowing six save chances, finishing with a 4.25 ERA and seven losses.
Reed dealt with shoulder issues this spring, then struggled in the month of April, tossing only one clean inning in seven appearances. He cannot locate his pitches. His fastball is down to the middle 90’s and his slider has been nonexistent.
If Manager Chip Hale does decide to replace Reed, this team has no clear-cut option on their current roster to move into the closer’s spot.
Matt Stites and David Hernandez are still out and when they do return they will need to build the throwing stamina needed. Enrique Burgos, who was recently called up, saved 29 games at Class A League Visalia, but he is not really MLB proven yet. Evan Marshall was sent down to work on his control and pitches. Vidal Nuño, who was also just called up, might be an option, but seems better suited as a starter. And, Daniel Hudson may also be needed in the starting rotation.
That leaves Brad Ziegler. Ziegler has 33 career saves and is arguably the team’s most consistent reliever, but is it best to leave him in a setup role?
We know closers have to have a short memory if they want to be successful in this league and Reed will forget yesterday’s loss, but with a team that needs all the wins it can get, a change might become necessary sooner, rather than later.
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