Sheldon Reed – Picture by Stephanie Lynn

When the Cubs signed Sheldon Reed in 2019, I remarked that the Cubs were getting a low mileage arm with high upside. After all, Reed had only been pitching for two years at the collegiate level after beginning his career as an outfielder. After dealing with some injury issues to begin his career, Reed would actually debut last summer in the Arizona Complex League. He pitched three games there and then made his way to Myrtle Beach where he got in six games. As a result, he started back in Myrtle Beach to begin 2022. He was promoted to South Bend on Monday.

Part of the reason for Reed’s assignment to Myrtle Beach at the beginning of the year is that he really didn’t get into action until August of last year and he only pitched a total 14 innings between Mesa and Myrtle Beach. However, in that span, he struck out 19 and had an ERA of 1.93.

This year, Reed has almost matched that as he’s thrown 11.2 innings and he’s not allowed a run. As you can probably guess, his ERA is 0.00. His WHIP is an ungodly 0.43 and his batting average against is .059. He’s allowed just five base runners all year.

Reed did not seem to be challenged too much in Myrtle Beach just based on his ERA and other statistics. I am very curious to how he will do with South Bend but relievers normally that do well in Myrtle Beach tend to do well in the Midwest League. Even though the Carolina League is known as a pitcher’s league, if Reed throws 97 with two offspeed pitches, he should be able to get to Double-A and in fairly quick fashion.

For the most part, Reed has been throwing off his four-seam fastball and mixing in a slider and a curve. The four seamer can get up to 97 with ease and has some zip to it up the zone. Exhibit A:

Reed is still a low mileage arm in terms of innings and it’ll be interesting to see what his workload is going to be over the next month. Will he throw once a week or twice a week? If it’s twice, that sets him up for success at South Bend and maybe Tennessee, if he’s dominant in South Bend.

The biggest issue for Reed right now is just having a role to play and gaining experience against advanced competition.

There are still some questions. Will South Bend have him close or be a setup guy? Or could he do both? Maybe he turns into a transition guy in the sixth inning. Or, he could just be a utility relief pitcher doing whatever the manager and pitching coach need him to do when it’s his day to pitch.

I am just excited to see him actually pitch in person when South Bend visits the Quad Cities and Beloit this month