This may be time for a little retribution.
The way Diamondbacks’ closer Addison Reed tells the scenario, he owes the Kansas City Royals a royal pay-back. Then again, if you talk to the Royals, Reed has been a very tough customer in the past.
At any rate, Reed’s recent production as the D-backs closer has improved and so is his confidence level.
As someone once said, show me the numbers.
Coming into play Tuesday night, Reed was tied for fifth in the National League with 27 saves. Since May 17, he’s held left-handed hitters to a .149 batting average (7-for-47) and his 27 saves thus far is seventh-most in a season by an Arizona pitcher.
Still, Reed remembers the introduction received by the Royals. Pitching for the Chicago White Sox, Reed faced the Royals often because each team in the American League Central Division plays one another 18 times. So there was more than enough time for familiarity.
“It’s pay-back time for me,” Reed said in the clubhouse prior to Tuesday’s game with Kansas City. “(The Royals) really welcomed me to the league. The toughest hitter for me? It was one through nine and then they would steal a base or two.”
Yet, numbers are not completely here.
Coming into Tuesday’s game, the Royals who remain on the team since Reed broke in with the White Sox on September 4, 2011, are hitting.192 (10-for-52) against the D-backs’ closer and only outfielder Lorenzo Cain has reached Reed for a home run.
Consider these numbers.
Of regulars in the Royals’ line-up Tuesday night, only third baseman Mike Moustakes has a .500 or above average (2-for-4). Cain is 2-for-5 while left-fielder Alex Gordon is 0-for-6.
For the record, Reed did record his 50th major league save against the Royals on June 22 of last year and became the second youngest in White Sox history to reach that milestone.
“Not sure that he had problems against us in the past,” wondered Kansas City manager Ned Yost before Tuesday’s game. “He’s been tough on us and always had good stuff.”
TRANSITION AT FIRST BASE
With first baseman Paul Goldschmidt finished for the season, manager Kirk Gibson indicated that Mark Trumbo will receive the majority of playing time at that position.
First base is not new to Trumbo, who played the position over the past four seasons for the Angels. Not the kind of circumstances to renew his association at first, Trumbo said, but he’s ready.
“I pride myself in staying ready for any situation,” he said prior to Tuesday’s game with the Royals. “No, no transition to first because I’ve played there before.”
Before last Saturday’s game against the Pirates, Goldschmidt was out talking with Trumbo during infield drills.
“Goldy was just going over moves and throws by the infielders,” Trumbo added. “Throws over from pitchers are no big deal but infielders have their throwing style and how the ball comes to you. So Goldy was helpful in pointing out some things.”
For Tuesday’s game against the Royals, Gibson put Jordan Pacheco at first and Trumbo returned to left field. That’s because the Diamondbacks faced Kansas City left-hander Danny Duffy, considered tough on left-handed hitters and Gibson wanted Pacheco in the line-up over left-handed David Peralta, who would be in the outfield with Trumbo at first.
On July 31, the Diamondbacks signed left-handed pitcher Clayton Richard to a minor league contract.
Coming into the organization with recent shoulder issues, Richard last pitched in the majors with the Padres last season. He started 11 games, recorded a 2-5 mark and 7.01 ERA for San Diego.
Drafted by the Chicago White Sox on the eighth round in 2005, Richard, at 6-5, 245 pounds out of the University of Michigan, has a career record of 46-47 and 4.33 ERA for 129 starts between the White Sox and Padres.
“He has not been in recent conversations,” said Gibson before Tuesday’s game with the Royals. “We get daily reports on the minor leagues and so far, he’s not in the reports.”
One source indicated Richard would pitch Monday night for the rookie Diamondbacks in the Arizona League. That did not happen and Richard’s first appearance in the organization now remains uncertain.