Addison Reed was viewed as a risky pickup back in August when the Mets acquired him to fortify their leaky bullpen. He had a bad year closing games in 2014 with the Diamondbacks (1-7, 4.25 ERA, and a 1.7 HR/9inn rate), then it got even worse for him in 2015 after he was removed from the closers' role and was eventually demoted to Triple-A with career-worst hit and walk rates. But the Mets’ move has paid off big time, and Reed is currently thriving as the setup man.
Reed has posted a 1.82 ERA through 31 appearances, and he’s currently holding career bests in hit rate (6.4 per nine innings) and walk rate (2.1 per nine innings). Before Saturday’s game in Milwaukee, Reed hadn’t allowed a single earned run since April 30. He’s allowed just one home run all season, which came back in early April. Reed’s also striking out hitters at a remarkable rate of 10.6 per nine frames. Opposing batters are hitting just .196 against Reed this season, and at home that number is even lower; a staggering .102.
There’s hardly been a situation that Reed hasn’t faced this year. He’s come in as early as the sixth inning and as late as the ninth (when he picked up a save on April 27), and has pitched with the lead, tied and trailing. He’s also been asked to pitch back-to-back days 12 times, and has allowed just one earned run in 11 innings off zero days’ rest. But Reed’s mainly been asked to pitch the eighth inning before Jeurys Familia comes in to close in the ninth, and he’s content with that role.
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“I don’t care which inning I’m throwing,” Reed told reporters recently. “As long as we’re winning and as long as we’re getting outs and getting the ball to Familia in the ninth inning, that’s all we’re going to try and do.”
Reed was dominant in the seventh inning role in the latter part of 2015 as well as the playoffs, and based off that small sample size the Mets decided to hand Reed a 1-year, $5.3 million contract, which seemed like a very dicey move. But Reed has replicated that dominant form from late last year, so GM Sandy Alderson has looked like a genius.
Reed chalks up the sudden reversal from his shaky Arizona days to Mets’ pitching coach Dan Warthen.
“[Warthen] is a pitching genius,” Reed told reporters last season. “He kind of left me alone, let me do my thing. I felt comfortable throwing all my pitches for strikes, and I think that was the biggest thing. I was able to throw my slider where I wanted to throw it, whereas in the first half of the season I couldn’t tell you where the ball was going.”
Living the Goeddel life
Erik Goeddel was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday as the struggling Logan Verrett was sent down after a losing Saturday’s spot start, in which he lasted just four innings. Goeddel had a 4.94 ERA in 23.1 IP in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League this season; he’ll be hoping to replicate his major league stats from last year (33.1 IP, 2.43 ERA, 0.990 WHIP). He pitched a scoreless inning in Sunday’s 5-3 loss to Milwaukee.