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Reed considers slider vital to second-year success

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CHICAGO -- Addison Reed threw six sliders and nine fastballs Monday in his 15-pitch save to preserve a 1-0 Opening Day win against the Royals.

A slider induced a game-ending groundout to shortstop from Jeff Francoeur, stranding Eric Hosmer at second base as the tying run. To have even greater success than his single-season franchise rookie record 29 saves in 2012, Reed knows mixing in the slider will play an important role, even if those sliders Monday weren't perfect in his mind.

"It felt good. It's just that I was yanking off on it," said Reed, who threw sliders on 13.8 percent of his pitches last year, according to fangraphs.com. "I know exactly what I was doing. It felt good in the 'pen.

"When I got out there on the mound in the game situation, I was trying to do too much. Just transfer what I'm doing in the bullpen to the mound, and I think everything will be fine."

Although he didn't use any changeups to shut down the Royals in Game 1, Reed certainly hasn't dropped that pitch from his repertoire.

"No, that's still in there. If the situation comes up, I'm going to use it, but I'm still throwing and working on it," Reed said. "With anybody, a well-located fastball is the best pitch, even if the hitter knows it's coming. If you can locate it any time, that's your best weapon right there."

"If you throw about 96 [mph] with a cutter, you can survive a long time," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura, referring to Yankees closer Mariano Rivera and his primary pitch. "But again, it's a tough role. Not only the physical stuff of what you do, but the mental stuff that goes with it. You have to have both of them to be in that role, and Addison has the stuff to do it. It's just getting out there and getting comfortable."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["opening_day" ] }
{"event":["opening_day" ] }
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