MINNEAPOLIS -- His fastball velocity is down a tad but Addison Reed has still managed to get the job done.
The White Sox closer has converted saves in each of the past two games and said he feels good. Though it’s only a tiny amount, Reed’s four-seam fastball has been as low as 1.77 miles per hour below his season average of 93.76 over his past two games, per brooksbaseball.net.
Saturday’s save marked the first time in his career Reed has recorded 30 saves after he notched 29 in 2012.
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Reed, who is 5-1 with a 3.36 ERA in 56 1/3 innings, has converted 59 of 69 chances (85.5 percent) in his career.
“He’s good,” manager Robin Ventura said. “He gets the opportunities and they have been slim chances for a while. It’s nice to get him back in there more on a consistent basis where you feel like he’s ready every day. It’s been good for him. Everybody has a couple hiccups here and there but he has been able to bounce back and that’s one of his biggest things, his ability to put it behind him and just look for today.”
Reed said it’s nice to reach a milestone, but didn’t know he earned the career-best number until one of his teammates informed him after the game. He also said he feels strong as he prepares to surpass his pitch total for 2012 shortly.
Through Saturday, Reed has thrown 893 pitches this season, according to baseball-reference.com. Last season he threw 921.
“I don’t feel really any different than earlier on in the year,” Reed said. “I feel good. I want to keep going out there until the year’s over.”
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Over his last four outings, Reed’s velocity has dropped sharply. On Aug. 10, Reed’s fastball averaged 94.39 mph and touched 95. Three days later, he averaged 92.57 mph and topped out at 93.6 in a 32-pitch, two-inning performance against Detroit. Reed topped out at 92.5 on Saturday and averaged 92.
But over the stretch Reed has allowed only three hits in five scoreless innings.
“Everybody during the course of the year goes through little waves of maybe they throw a little harder this day than they do on other days,” Ventura said. “It’s part of having a long season and being able to maintain and get through it.”
Reed said his goal since the offseason has been to thrive in the second half, something he didn’t do in 2012.
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While Reed blew only five saves in 2012, he had a 5.63 ERA in 28 games after the All-Star break. He worked harder on his conditioning last offseason to ensure it doesn’t reoccur this season.
With 40 games to go, Reed has a 1.76 second-half ERA.
“I kind of ran out of gas at the end of last year and this year I tried to do everything I could to prepare myself and make sure I didn’t kind of wear down toward the ends of the year,” Reed said. “I’m feeling good right now and hopefully it continues.”
Troncoso released from hospital
Reliever Ramon Troncoso has been released from the hospital and is headed back to Chicago while the White Sox head to Kansas City. The White Sox placed Troncoso on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday after he was diagnosed with pericarditis, which is swelling and irritation of the lining that surrounds the heart.
“He’s doing all right,” Ventura said. “They’re going to send him home to rest. Most of it is being completely shut down to rest.”
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Santiago is better
Ventura has less trepidation sending Hector Santiago to the mound on Sunday than he did for the left-hander's last start. Santiago made his previous start Tuesday even though he had a swollen face and experienced shooting pain with every pitch, the result of a root canal gone bad on Monday. Santiago had spent most of the 24 hours prior to his five-inning start in bed with a fever with an infection that wouldn’t go away.
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The left-hander eventually had his infected tooth removed and after several days the swelling has subsided.
“He looks much better,” Ventura said. “I don’t feel bad about sending him out there. He feels much better. I think after the last time, if we can send him out there like that, he’s good to go.”