— Steve Gilbert (@SteveGilbertMLB) March 20, 2014
Good though Reed has been - both in spring and last season with the White Sox - I was quite surprised by the move. J.J. Putz was no slouch himself in 2013, after coming back from his DL stint, with a 1.25 ERA in those 26 appearances, and given his markedly higher cost this year, seemed likely to reclaim the position he possessed on Opening Day. Even given his spring struggles and lower velocity, I was imagining a scenario where J.J. was initially the closer, but save situations were gradually transferred to Reed over the course of the season.
That's not to be, and it appears that Putz will join David Hernandez in the set-up role, with Brad Ziegler now officially able to return to his "nomadic fireman" role, putting out fires with ground-ball double-plays as and when necessary - though his spring was underwhelming too, to say the least. However, perhaps - and this is pure speculation at this point - it's just a precursor to a trade package involving Didi Gregorius and Putz, in exchange for... What and whom, we can only guess.
There was also some more information from Gibson on his potential batting order:
That would seem to suggest we're looking at something along these lines
- A.J. Pollock (vs LHP) or Gerardo Parra (vs. RHP)
- Aaron Hill
- Paul Goldschmidt
- Martin Prado
- Miguel Montero
Chris Owings (vs. LHP) or Pollock
- Parra (vs LHP) or Didi Gregorius (vs. RHP)
- Pitcher's spot
Montero may bat ahead of Trumbo vs. RHP, perhaps. We may get some more specific clues from the line-up for Friday's game against Team Australia.