Closing is the goal for Reed

Closing is the goal for Reed
January 11, 2012, 5:12 am
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Okay, Addison Reed's first goal is to make the White Sox 25-man roster out of spring training. That shouldn't be a problem, unless he gets hurt or experiences some mysterious drop in velocity. Even if his handful of innings -- all relievers get in spring training -- aren't good, there isn't a ton of competition that has the body of work to vault over Reed for a spot on the major league roster.
So once he's on the team, Reed wants to close. That's not breaking news, although there's some good stuff in Scott Merkin's article detailing how Reed grew up idolizing Troy Percival and K-Rod as an Angels fan.
Throwing Reed right into the closing fire may be a little risky, but the guy did close out games for Stephen Strasburg at San Diego State and seems to have the right mental attitude for pressure situations in the ninth. If the Sox don't go with Reed to start the season, instead opting to give him some time working in the seventh and eighth innings before allowing him to assume the closer role, though, Matt Thornton or Jesse Crain should fill the ninth inning just fine.
For the record, Reed very well may encounter more high-leverage situations in the seventh or eighth innings. There may not be a discernable difference in performance between ReedCrainThornton next year, so it's nothing to be up in arms about, but it's a reminder that saving your best reliever for the ninth inning often times isn't the best strategy. Why lose with Mike MacDougal on the mound instead of Bobby Jenks?