This was mentioned in the preview, but I think, given the two thousand words I wrote on the topic yesterday, this piece of news deserves its own post!
Chip Hale says they'll probably use Addison Reed earlier in games as he works through mechanical changes.— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) May 15, 2015
However, it does not appear this necessarily means we will see someone else in save situation, with Steve Gilbert reporting, "Chip Hale says he will play match ups in 9th inning rather than strictly Addison Reed." Nick Piecoro concurs: "Ziegler could be an option for the ninth inning but [Hale] plans to keep his options open in case Ziegler is needed earlier." It does appear that Reed has been having "mechanical issues", and we'll be going with the "closer by committee" approach until these have been ironed out. Reed sounded... almost relieved at news of the change
Addison Reed said he understands reason for change: "There’s not one part of me that thinks I’ve been throwing the ball somewhat well."— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) May 15, 2015
And I can't help but feel for the guy. No-one likes to fail at their job. Least of all, in front of tens of thousands of people, and many more than that with access to social media and an irritable nature. It's going to be interesting to see how this change works out: I get the feeling we will probably see Ziegler as the main closer, but I look forward to seeing how Hale handles the options. The idea of playing match-ups in the ninth was suggested as the first comment in our thread, and if properly used - and if the players are able to adapt to more flexible roles - it could be quite effective, given the various "looks" available out of our pen.