Twins place struggling Addison Reed on DL
MINNEAPOLIS — Addison Reed's prolonged struggles have finally been acknowledged.
The veteran reliever was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right triceps tightness before the series finale against the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday, July 11. Fellow right-hander Alan Busenitz was recalled from Triple-A Rochester.
It's the first career trip to the DL for Reed, who was signed to a two-year, $16.75 million contract in January after pitching in the past three postseasons for the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox.
"It's frustrating as hell knowing I'm not performing anywhere (near) where I should be," Reed said. "There haven't been any (stretches) that have been this frustrating. This is definitely the most frustrating one because there have been some big spots that I've struggled in that made it seem bigger than it was."
Twins manager Paul Molitor said Reed would likely undergo additional tests "just to make sure that's all he's got going on," but Reed expressed confidence he would return as soon as he's eligible on July 21 in Kansas City.
Reed, 29, was hit hard again in Tuesday night's loss to the Royals, giving up three runs in the ninth inning, including a two-run homer to Alex Gordon. That was the fifth homer Reed has allowed in his past 16 outings, dating to late May.
During that stretch of 14⅓ innings, Reed has posted a 9.42 earned run average while allowing 24 hits, six walks and hitting two batters. He has 10 strikeouts in that span but has allowed a .387 batting average, a .451 on-base percentage and a .661 slugging percentage.
There was some element of bad luck as opponents had a .396 batting average on balls in play, but there's been plenty of hard contact too against a 90-91 mph fastball that has lost another tick or two in velocity.
"You pay attention to that as one of the factors," Molitor said. "He's been on a bit of a down trend (in velocity) over the last couple years. To feel healthy enough to throw when it's not coming out quite what you're accustomed to, you want to make sure you do what you can to see if we can get a little bit of that back."
Reed was expected to serve as the primary setup man for 41-year-old closer Fernando Rodney. The arrangement worked well through the first seven weeks or so as Reed posted a 2.36 ERA in his first 25 Twins outings.
Before getting a week-long break in mid-June, Reed was on pace for a career-high 81 appearances. He subsequently lost his setup role to second-year right-hander Trevor Hildenberger.
"It hasn't been significant," Molitor said. "Just wear and tear of a season and a career. He hasn't complained. He's very prideful of the fact he wants to be a guy that can go out there even when things are maybe not perfect. That's how you develop reputations."
Right-hander Ervin Santana (finger surgery) had his most encouraging rehab start yet on Tuesday night for Double-A Chattanooga, working five walk-free innings while fanning six in Jacksonville, Fla.
Santana touched 92 mph five to 10 times, according to eyewitnesses, and averaged 90 mph with his fastball. Molitor said the fact Santana's velocity "ticked up just a hair" was another good sign as was his efficiency in a 63-pitch outing.
"My hand feels better," Santana told reporters. "Everything is much better now and I have less pain. Everything is going my way."
The next step for Santana is to start on Sunday for Triple-A Rochester at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He is not under consideration to start in the majors on Sunday to close out the first half, Molitor said.
Santana's latest 30-day rehab window expires July 29, so he must rejoin the Twins by month's end as he works back from Feb. 6 surgery.
Infielder Ehire Adrianza (hamstring) was scheduled to run the bases Wednesday morning and remains on track to be activated off the 10-day DL on Thursday.
A three-man crew was used after second-base umpire Will Little had to return home to Tennessee when his wife went into labor.