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New White Sox reliever Brett Myers won’t take Addison Reed’s closer job — yet

Brett Myers

Brett Myers

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Sox at Tigers

The facts: 12:05 p.m., CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.

The starters: Philip Humber (4-4, 5.77 ERA) vs. Jacob Turner (0-1, 10.29).

Updated: August 23, 2012 11:01AM

DETROIT — White Sox general manager Ken Williams said that Brett Myers was acquired for bullpen depth, not to replace Addison Reed as the closer, despite his valuable experience in that role.

“He’s going to join the bullpen. Ultimately, the ninth inning is [manager] Robin Ventura’s call,” said Williams, who pulled off his second key trade in four weeks by acquiring the 31-year-old Myers on Saturday from the Houston Astros for two prospects and a player to be named later. Dylan Axelrod was optioned to Class AAA Charlotte.

Reed, a rookie who has 15 saves in 18 chances with a 4.24 ERA, still has the closer’s job, Ventura said. But that’s subject to change. Myers, who spent the first part of his career as a starter for the Philadelphia Phillies, has 19 saves in 21 chances and a 3.52 ERA in 35 games this season.

“Right now, he’s probably in there doing the same stuff as [setup man] Jesse [Crain],” Ventura said. “Reeder is still going to be closing.

“There’s the option to move him around and do a lot of different stuff. But for me right now, Addy has really earned the right to do that. He’s going to be the one doing that.”

The Sox, who are on the hook for only $1 million of Myers’ salary this season, gave up right-hander Matt Heidenreich and left-hander Blair Walters. Heidenreich is 9-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 18 starts with Class A Winston-Salem and Class AA Birmingham. Walters is 4-6 with a 3.96 ERA in 18 starts with Class A Kannapolis and Winston-Salem.

“I felt the men in that clubhouse deserved a little help,” Williams said. “In no way is anyone wavering on our confidence in Addison Reed. But it’s got to the point where it’s time to make a push.

“[Myers] takes the ball and is as aggressive as they get.”

Though Reed feels strong, this is his first full season.

“I think I ended with [86] innings [majors-minors combined] last year,” Reed said. “Everything has felt good, just normal soreness. Hopefully it will stay that way.”

As for the possibility of trading for a starter before the July 31 non-waiver deadline, Williams said he “still has minutes left” on his cellphone but suggested the deal for a reliever was his top priority. Gavin Floyd’s expected return to the rotation Monday, Philip Humber’s return last week and favorable reports on John Danks’ progress shifted Williams’ focus to the bullpen.

“Look at the rotation: [Jake] Peavy, [Jose] Quintana, [Chris] Sale, Floyd, Humber, adding Danks, how crazy do you want to get in pursuit of another starter?” Williams said.“That’s not to stay if the right situation comes up and gives us an impact-type guy right now I wouldn’t try to make it work.”

NOTE: The Sox activated Jesse Crain , who had been on the disabled list since
July 4 (retroactive to June 24) with a right posterior shoulder strain. Right-handed pitcher
Brian Omogrosso was optioned to Class AAA Charlotte.

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