Homegrown Homecoming: Steve Reed

Steve Reed‘s submarine delivery is hard to forget. The right-handed reliever had a Vinny Castilla-esque career with the Rockies, staying around for a while in the mid-’90s and popping back in late in his career when he couldn’t find somewhere else to play. And truthfully, Reed was a good pitcher for the Rockies. Unlike some of the other early pitchers I’ve profiled (Mike Munoz, Lance Painter, Curtis Leskanic), Reed came through more often than not. In his best season, 1995, he pitched 84 innings and posted an ERA of just 2.14. That was the best mark on the team by a wide margin.

Reed also came through for the Rockies in the playoffs that year. He pitched in games 1, 2, and 3 of the 1995 division series against the Atlanta Braves and didn’t allow a run in 2 2/3 innings. To be fair, he did blow a save in the first game. With 2 outs in the 6th and David Justice on 3rd, Reed came into the game to relieve Kevin Ritz. Luis Polonia hit a groundball to 3rd and Justice was able to score on the play. Since that tied the game at 3, it was a blown save. However, it was not an earned run for either Ritz or Reed because a throwing error by center fielder Ellis Burks allowed Justice to advance to 3rd on what should have been a single. Later, in game 3, Reed recorded a hold en route to the Rox first postseason win, and only win until 2007. All this is to say that, for the most part, Reed did a fine job holding the line during his one shot at the postseason with the Rockies.

Reed first came to the Rockies via the expansion draft, when he was taken from the Giants. He played with Colorado through the 1997 season, posting an ERA below 4.00 in 3 of his 5 seasons. He went back to San Francisco in 1998 and then played for the Indians, the Braves, the Padres, and the Mets. He appeared in the playoffs three more times, once with the Braves and twice with the Indians. He mostly continued his effectiveness there, except for one disastrous game against the Red Sox in the 1999 ALDS. Reed allowed 8 earned runs over 1 1/3 innings, and Cleveland lost 23-7.

The Rockies brought Reed back before the 2003 season when he signed as a free agent. He stayed on through 2004 and continued to be a workhorse, appearing in a total of 132 games between those two seasons. He was a pitch-to-contact guy who didn’t rack up a lot of strikeouts or a lot of walks, but he knew where to put the ball so the hitter would put it in play where Reed wanted it. He was a solid member of the pen in his time with the Rockies.

He signed with the Orioles for the 2005 season and struggled a bit. He was released in July of that year. He’s since disappeared from the baseball scene and I, for one, have no idea where he is.

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