Arizona Diamondbacks are not ready to replace Addison Reed at closer

May 14, 2015, 11:11 AM | Updated: 11:12 am
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LISTEN: Derrick Hall, D-backs President & CEO

Wednesday afternoon, Addison Reed served up a grand slam to the Washington Nationals’ Michael Taylor, blowing a save and leaving the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 9-6 loss.

It was a brutal way to not only lose a game, but also a series. Sure, every loss counts the same, but when your closer, who is supposed to lock a game down, allows a grand slam?

It hurts. Bad.

After the game, D-backs skipper Chip Hale was asked about the idea of replacing Reed as the closer. He responded by saying every player has their issues throughout a 162-game season.

It didn’t sound like he was ready to make a change, and Thursday, as a guest of Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday morning, D-backs president Derrick Hall echoed his manager’s thoughts.

Saying there were plenty of opportunities throughout the afternoon to make things more comfortable, Hall pointed out that there are only so many “lights-out” closers in baseball.

“You can count on one hand those closers that you just have the confidence in to come in and shut them down one, two, three,” he said. “And we weren’t talking about Reed three days ago when he came in and had a perfect inning and got the save. That’s the life of a closer, it’s tough.”

Indeed, Reed worked a clean inning to secure a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres Sunday afternoon, earning his second save of the season.

Reed has only had four save opportunities this season, blowing two of them. Wednesday’s was the most jarring — a grand slam is about as bad as it can get — and seems to have resonated with people just a bit more.

The outing dropped Reed to 0-2 on the season with a 7.20 ERA. Last season, in his first after being acquired from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Matt Davidson, he was 1-7 with a 4.25 ERA, 32 saves and six blown saves.

The 26-year-old has 103 career saves, but has yet to really establish himself as an upper-echelon stopper. The D-backs, though, are going to give him more time to do just that.

“We have a lot of capable arms out there if you do think or if we think we need to make a change,” Hall said. “We’re not there yet, I can tell you that.”

The team president added everyone had a chance to sleep on it, and with a day off Thursday, there has been time to discuss the matter.

“It’s a conversation, obviously, that is had all the time with every club when you have a blown save or when you have a kid that obviously has a confidence issue right now,” Hall said. “But he is right, he was stand up after the game. And he did have control issues. It’s one thing to get a quick out, but then you’re walking guys. You’ve got to put the ball on the bat, in this case, and put the ball in play.”

Hall went on to say that the situation, a walk followed by a grand slam, is a tough situation for anybody to handle. But based on his post-game comments, in which he was accountable for what happened, it appears as though Reed is able to get through it. Afterwards, he said it would take just five to 10 minutes to reflect and move on from the blown save.

That kind of resiliency is important for every closer, because there are going to be nights where things don’t go according to plan. It’s the nature of the job.

“You have to have that mentality to be a closer, and it’s tough,” Hall said. “You finish that game, you walk off the mound and then you’re getting on that airplane, you feel very alone. It’s tough.

“You have to have that sort of mentality where you just turn the page, and that’s very tough for fans to swallow. Fans are upset — that was a game that we should have won. There’s going to be more of those this year, let’s face it. There’s going to be more of those for every team. For the Dodgers, for the Giants, for every team. There’s going to be games you think you should have won, and that’s definitely one of them.”

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