Reed told MLB.com as far back as the start of 2012 that he always had his sights set more on becoming Trevor Hoffman as opposed to Greg Maddux. But with the 23-year-old Sale scheduled to regularly anchor the ninth, the 23-year-old Reed figures to remain in his current setup role and might not get a chance to supplant Sale if he stays in the bullpen.
That change doesn't bother the low-key Reed, who never bought into the closer of the future commentary as much as simply trying to find a productive place on the White Sox staff.
"I'm just going with the flow. Whatever they want me to do, I'm going to do," said Reed, whose 13th straight scoreless appearance to start a season during Tuesday's 5-3 victory over the Indians in 10 innings broke Sergio Santos' franchise rookie record of 12 set in 2010. "As long as I'm going out and pitching, I'll be happy. It doesn't bother me at all."Career save No. 1 for Reed came Saturday at Comerica Park, when he stranded the tying run at third and winning run at second by knocking out Austin Jackson via a 97-mph fastball. Reed picked up his second save in Tuesday's win, extending his scoreless innings streak to 10, and lowering opponents' average against him to .143 to go with his 14 strikeouts and just three walks.
Even if he never received another save opportunity, though, Reed won't be disappointed or complain.
"As long as I'm pitching, I'll be happy," Reed said. "I'm going to go out there and do my best, no matter what role."
"He's still going to be used in crucial situations late in the game," said Ventura of Reed, who would be next in line to close behind Sale. "I know that."
With Reed's electric stuff and four pitches placing him upon numerous Top 100 prospects lists coming into the season, some have suggested Reed could go from late-inning relief to starter. The only 11 starts of Reed's career came in 2010 for San Diego State, when he finished 8-2 with a 2.50 ERA, two complete games and 90 strikeouts over 79 1/3 innings.
Although he didn't completely shoot down the notion, Reed certainly seems to like this current career path.
"It's up to them, but I'm happy in the bullpen; let's just put it that way," said a smiling Reed. "I think we have a great group of arms.
"They are all awesome. With Chris, all it does is strengthen it. It doesn't hurt to have lefties in the 'pen, especially in the [American League] Central with mainly left-handed-hitting lineups. That's huge."