There was an unfamiliar name on the mound Saturday night pitching for the Detroit Tigers. No, Jose Valverde didn’t get traded and a new closer wasn't signed in his place. The pitcher was middle reliever Evan Reed and he is a fresh face to the majors this year. Reed has been in the minors since 2007 and put up some decent numbers over the years, so Detroit took a chance and traded with the Miami Marlins system to bring him in to their minor system.
Reed pitched for California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 3rdround of the 2007 draft. He has played for several minor league teams and had minimal success. In 2012, he was 5-4 through 67 innings and in 2011, he was 0-1 through the 24 innings he pitched before an injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season. His most active year was 2008 when he threw in 138 innings for three different minor teams. His ERA has been as low as 1.69 (2010) and as high as 5.61 (2008).
Since joining the big leagues, he has appeared in three games and pitched five innings total. During those few innings, he has allowed seven hits while getting just one strikeout. He has no decisions nor has he been called in for a save situation. With an ERA of 3.60, he isn’t the first person that Jim Leyland thinks about calling in for relief.
Rewind back to May when Reed had two appearances against the Texas Rangers. During his four innings, he gave up four hits and had just one strikeout. It was a mediocre performance. He was sent back down to Toledo, and Luke Putkonen was called up. But Reed wanted to get back to the majors so he threw some great innings for the Toledo Mudhens. Some more pitching changes took place and Reed found himself in the bullpen again. The problem is that he was called in to relieve during what turned out to be a disaster of a game for the Tigers Saturday night against the Minnesota Twins.
Anibal Sanchez was back in the rotation after missing a game due to injury. Sanchez showed signs that he wasn’t going to be himself right away in the first inning, but after a conference on the mound he was left in until the 3rd inning when Darrin Downs replaced him. Downs gave up some more runs and Reed was brought in to give up three more hits before he was pulled out of the game.
Despite the mediocre ERA with just 5 IP this season, Leyland might keep him in the bullpen, especially considering how turbulent Valverde’s pitching has been of late. In order to stay Reed will need to prove he can control the ball in his next outing and limit the hits and get a strikeout or two. If not, he could get shipped back to Toledo on the next bus out of the big D.
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