The Reds have fired pitching coach Mark Riggins, according to a report from Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Here is the report:
The Cincinnati Reds have fired pitching coach Mark Riggins, the team announced Monday morning. He will be replaced by bullpen coach Mack Jenkins, with Triple-A pitching coach Ted Power taking over Jenkins’ old role.
Riggins was hired as pitching coach prior to the 2016 season after previously serving as pitching coordinator for the minor-league system. But the 2016 season has been worse than expected from a pitching standpoint.
The Reds have a team ERA of 5.51, far and away the worst in the majors this year. The bullpen is on pace to be one of the worst in baseball history by some measures. Cincinnati’s pitchers are almost a lock at this point to set a new record for home runs allowed.
Various player development staffers are expected to fill Power’s shoes with the Triple-A Louisville Bats.
Riggins was hired by the Reds last October. You proably don’t even know much about him because of his short time in the queen city. Here is what I wrote about Riggins back in October:
- He was the Reds minor league pitching coordinator for the last four seasons.
- Riggins was the Cardinals pitching coach for just one season in strike-shortened 1995 (Cardinals went 62-81 in the 1995, but was 7th in the MLB with a team 4.09 ERA). The Cardinals fired Joe Torre during the 1995 season, and hired Tony La Russa for 1996. La Russa brought in Dave Duncan who was his pitching coach when he was with the A’s.
- Riggins remained in the Cardinals organization in 1996, and was their minor league pitching coordinator from 1996-2007. He then moved on to the Cubs and was their minor league pitching coordinator from 2008-2010.
- He was hired as the Cubs pitching coach in 2010. The Cubs had a team ERA of 4.18, which was 22nd in the MLB. Lou Piniella retired during the season in 2010, and Riggins didn’t return to the Cubs in 2011.
- Riggins pitched in 183 games in the minors, but never made it to the big leagues.
This certainly feels like a move of firing a guy in a lose-lose situation, but we never know the full story. The Reds might not have liked the way he has handled the young pitchers in terms of their development. I highly doubt this move was based on results alone.
Ted Power, who will be coming up from Louisville to be the new bullpen coach, is apparently well liked. Jason Linden interviewed Power last week, and Chad Dotson and Jason discussed him in the latest Redleg Nation Radio podcast.