Reed was originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 3rd round of the 2007 draft; and was a starter for his first couple seasons in the minors. After struggling in the low minors; Texas converted him to a reliever for the 2009 season; and he performed pretty well posting a 2.96 ERA in 48 2/3 innings with 12 K/9. Unfortunately, he also walked 5.2 per 9 innings, and as a result his WHIP was a bloated 1.48. He did well again in 2010, reaching AAA in the Florida system; cutting his walk numbers nearly in half, still striking out a solid amount; and looked to be a future big league late-innings reliever. Then he needed Tommy John surgery, only threw 24 innings in 2011, and somewhat fell off the map. He rebounded in 2012 to throw 67 1/3 innings, but the Marlins apparently didn't think much of him anymore, and they allowed him to be claimed by the Tigers at the end of spring training this season.
Reed has been damned good in Toledo; throwing 21 innings with a 3.00 ERA while striking out 28 and walking only 7. When Brayan Villarreal was sent down earlier in the season; the obvious choice to call up was Jose Ortega due to his dominance in the minors; but a case could certainly have been made for Reed.
In terms of scouting, Reed is a big guy. He stands 6'4" and is listed at a beefy 255 pounds; but he carries the weight extremely well and is a pretty solid athlete. He's a 2 pitch guy, with a fastball and slider. The fastball is the bread and butter pitch here; as Reed can sit in the 92-95 range with it, and reports have him touching as high as 97 in Toledo this season. He's had some trouble controlling and commanding it in the past; as evidenced by not only the elevated walk rates but by scouting reports as well. It's got some life at the plate; but you wouldn't classify it as having "explosive" life or anything like that. When he's able to command it; it's a true plus pitch that can get swings and misses as well as weak contact, especially when down in the zone. The slider projected as an above-average pitch when he was drafted; but it hasn't reached that level. It's still a solid pitch for him; and is effective vs. both righties and lefties.
The bottom line with Reed is that if he can throw strikes consistently and command the fastball; he'll be an asset moving forward. I don't expect Leyland to have him step in and take Al-Al's place as the late-innings righty; as I think that designation will fall to Ortega now (aside from Benoit, obviously). If Reed can't throw strikes; then he's just another arm that will probably be shipped out as soon as Putkonen is eligible to come back up.
Either way, he's an interesting guy that I think the Tigers did well to acquire.