Reed happy to join Mariners in Detroit
Former starting center fielder ready to help however he can
DETROIT -- It is somewhat ironic that Jeremy Reed was in a batting cage when he was informed that he would be joining the Mariners in the Motor City.After all, he probably has spent less time in cages this season than at any time of his career. "Less time and more quality," Reed said on Monday afternoon inside the visiting clubhouse at Comerica Park, where the Mariners began a three-game series on Tuesday -- and Reed made his first appearance, fouling out in a pinch-hit role in the eighth inning and delivering a run-scoring single during Seattle's four-run ninth inning.
"In the past, I would just go into the cage and swing and swing and swing," Reed continued. "Sometimes, when you are going well, and your swing is feeling good, you just need to keep it that way, let it happen, and not swing your way into a slump."That philosophy served him well at Triple-A Tacoma. He got off to a good start, batting close to .375 at the end of April, and had a .349 batting average on Sunday morning when he reported for work at Cheney Stadium. "I was in the cage getting ready to play when the manager [Daren Brown] came down, grabbed me out of the cage and said I would have the day off. I asked him if there was any particular reason why? He said, 'Because you are going up.'" Those are the words every Minor Leaguer wants to hear. Reed was a mainstay in center field in 2005, playing in 141 games and batting .254 with 45 RBIs. Reed was the regular center fielder in 2006 as well -- until July 2. That was the day his broke his right thumb after diving for a ball in the right-center-field gap. Reed underwent surgery four days later and missed the remainder of the season. By the time he came back, the Mariners had moved Ichiro Suzuki from right field to center field and signed right-handed-hitting Jose Guillen to play right field. Reed spent the first five months of the regular season playing for the Rainiers in the Pacific Coast League, batting .300 in 135 games and receiving a September promotion. He was used sparingly and went 3-for-17. He reported to Spring Training last February knowing there probably was only an outside chance of earning a spot on the 25-man Opening Day roster. He was cut in camp and reported to the Minors determined to prove he belonged in the big leagues. "You go through times when you feel like you are doing everything you possibly can," he said. "You never know what's going to happen." He had no idea on Sunday that a promotion was forthcoming. "It was out of the blue," he said, "definitely out of the blue." Reed said he was unaware that the Mariners were sending Jeff Clement back to Tacoma, a Sunday afternoon move that opened the door for Reed's return. Exactly how he'll be used by manager John McLaren is uncertain. "We're just going to play it by ear," McLaren said prior to Tuesday night's series opener. "He can play all three outfield positions, gives us a left-handed bat off the bench. He can do some things for us. He can give [Wladimir] Balentien a break in right field, give Raul [Ibanez] a break in left field. We'll keep him in the mix."
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.