CHICAGO -- Robin Ventura has seen growth in Addison Reed as closer, and it goes deeper than his saves total increasing from 29 last year to 37 this season.
"There's been times where he's tired, and you see the maturity of him getting a lot of chances in a row," Ventura said. "Even like [Saturday] night, you have to start getting him in games to make sure he gets some regular opportunities, that he gets in and gets innings."
Ventura believes Reed needs another pitch to go from a solid closer to elite. He has thrown his slider a little more this season and slightly de-emphasized the fastball, but Ventura likes that Reed has mixed in the changeup as well.
"Just the feel for his pitches and being able to have more than just one thing," Ventura said. "What separates those [elite closers] is they don't give in, ever.
"What I mean by that is guys that will throw any pitch at any time, if they do get roughed up, they come back the next day and they're still as tough as they were when they were on a roll. The closer role is such a tough job because it's instant success or fail. There's not a, 'Hey, you did kind of all right.' If you got it done, you got it done, and if you didn't, you stink. It's a lot of high-stress situations, and it's not for everybody."
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.