Thanks to a 6-0 win over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night, the Chicago White Sox had no reason to go to Addison Reed out of the bullpen.
That doesn't mean the topic of Reed wasn't a hot one, as manager Robin Ventura finally made the obvious official. The Sox have had three pitchers earn saves, and Chris Sale blew his lone save opportunity when he was briefly designated as the closer two weeks ago.
Before the win over the Twins, Ventura named Reed the closer.
"Yeah. I'll say that," Ventura said. "He's earned that, and I feel comfortable putting him in there."
Aside from a six-run black eye against the Royals on May 13, Reed has been unscored on in his other 16 outings. He has four saves in four opportunities since May 5, including one Friday against the Cubs, and he pitched the ninth inning in Sunday's win against the Cubs in a non-save situation.
Reed has 17 strikeouts and has not allowed a home run in 13 1/3 innings. Not bad for a rookie.
"Some nights he's up to 98 (mph), and some nights he's 96, but he's still pretty good," Ventura said. "Even when you'd look at him and think he didn't have it, he's got it."
Entering spring training, Reed was the leading candidate to close games, along with Matt Thornton. But as the spring went on, the Sox changed directions and went with Hector Santiago. He struggled after a few weeks, and Thornton got a look. Now, Reed has earned that chance.
"He could have been (ready in early April)," Ventura said. "The way it worked out, I think it's going to be better for him in the long run. I don't think he cares. I think he just wants the ball and pitches. From spring training on, every time you hand him the ball, he's not overwhelmed by any situation."