He doesn't begrudge his lack of playing time. Reed said he's learned over the years to be a realist, and he's aware of the spark that newcomer Nyjer Morgan has provided the Brewers so far.
He also has experience in a reserve role. In 2009 with the Mets, Reed played in 126 games but made only 24 starts, and learned along the way just how difficult life as a pinch-hitter can be. Reed was fortunate to contribute early that year; in his second plate appearance of the season, he delivered a game-tying, two-out RBI single that forced a bottom of the ninth inning against the Marlins. It was a huge confidence boost, he said.
"When you get the first [hit] you can relax a little bit and believe in yourself," he said. "This game is as much confidence as anything.
"That's what I learned in New York. You have one at-bat and go 0-for-1, and sometimes it feels like you're 0-for-100. Or you go 1-for-1 and you're on top of the world, it feels like you're 100-for-100. You have to find a way to get that out of there and just have good at-bats.
"For me, my first six at-bats, my plate discipline hasn't been good. I'm probably thinking of result more than I should."
He tried to be more patient in his at-bat against Cubs reliever Jeff Samardzija on Saturday night, especially because Samardzija was struggling with his command. But Reed suddenly found himself in an 0-and-2 hole and struck out.
"In the end, you have to realize that you're never going to conquer pinch-hitting," Reed said.
He'll keep plugging away.
"You want to do something every day to show that you belong here, and I still have that mindset," Reed said. "It's just a totally different approach. You get one at-bat, one chance, and you try to make the most of it.
"... The main thing is that when you walk out those [clubhouse] doors, you leave everything behind. I've beat myself up before, and that doesn't get you anywhere but miserable, and sometimes carrying over to the next day. I know I can succeed in this role. I have to let it happen."