On Thursday morning, the Cincinnati Reds made baseball’s first big personnel change of the 2018 season.
The Reds have announced they are replacing manager Bryan Price and pitching coach Mack Jenkins. Effective immediately, bench coach Jim Riggleman is interim manager, Louisville manager Pat Kelly is bench coach, and Pensacola pitching coach Danny Darwin is major league staff.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 19, 2018
Bryan Price, who has managed the Reds since 2014, has been fired. He had just started his fifth season with the organization, but it was by far the worst. The Reds have a 3-15 record, and when a team loses 15 of its first 18 games, the manager’s definitely in the hot seat. In fact, the Reds’ 3-15 start was the team’s second worst in the last 100 years. Pitching coach Mack Jenkins was also fired.
Dick Williams, the Reds’ president of baseball operations, released this statement:
“At this time, we felt a change needed to happen in order to begin the process of getting this team back on the right track. We realize it is early in the season but feel it is important to be proactive. In addition to these staff changes, we will continue to examine all aspects of Baseball Operations to ensure we are doing everything we can to improve.”
Of the four Reds teams that Price managed from beginning to end, none finished with a record of .500 or better, or placed better than fourth in the National League Central. He was brought on to replace Dusty Baker, who was fired following the team’s loss in the 2013 wild-card game. The Reds started on the road to rebuilding not long after Price took over, and he was given a wide berth as far as what was considered a success on a team that wasn’t going to traditionally succeed anytime soon.
But the Reds losing 15 of their first 18 games and owning the worst record in baseball is pretty far from what even a rebuilding team would call success. Currently, the Reds own the fourth worst team batting average in baseball (.220), and the second worst team ERA (5.42).
Reds bench coach Jim Riggleman will take over as interim manager. Riggleman has no shortage of managerial experience. He’s managed four different major league teams, most recently the Washington Nationals from 2009-2011, and managed the Reds’ Triple-A team in 2013 and 2014. The Reds made him third base coach in 2015, and bench coach in 2016.
Riggleman’s latest promotion probably won’t be permanent, but he’s staying put for awhile. The Reds have already tweeted that the team intends to undertake a managerial search later in the year.
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