We’re at the half-way point of our fundraising week. Nothing like asking people for hard-earned money so they can read even more about their team’s historically awful start to the season. But that’s where we are!
A word on the Jim Riggleman Era.
When the Reds interim manager was interviewed before his first game leading the Reds, Riggleman was asked how he would use the bullpen differently from Bryan Price. It was obvious he either hadn’t thought about it or had no plans for changing. He stammered, then mumbled something about checking every day to see who’s available. Then Riggleman said he’d use Raisel Iglesias, Wandy Peralta and Jared Hughes “when the team is ahead or the score is tied.”
There you have it. Strict roles. No grasp of the concept of leverage in a game. Stone Age managing.
Today, we got a real taste of it. With the Reds having shown a little spunk courtesy of a couple misplays by the Cardinals and a double by Jesse Winker, Riggleman had to decide which reliever to use in the 7th inning of a game the Reds were behind 3-2. His options:
- Amir Garrett had thrown THREE pitches since Tuesday
- Jared Hughes had pitched once since Wednesday
- Wandy Peralta had thrown EIGHT pitches since Wednesday
- Raisel Iglesias had pitched once since MONDAY
All were possible options for Rigglemen.
But no, he didn’t want to dip into the “game is tied or Reds are ahead” pool. No, Jim Riggleman was apparently worried that his 3-17 team might have so many leads in the next few days that he’d run out of bullpen arms to hold them all.
So instead, Riggleman called on Kevin Quackenbush. First of all, Quackenbush has no business still being in the Reds bullpen. He washed out with the Padres last year (a 7.86 ERA will do that). The Reds signed him to a minor league contract this spring and he made the Opening Day roster largely because he was healthy. The Reds kept him around instead of Cody Reed, who has done well as a reliever.
Kevin Quackenbush is 100% the worst arm in the bullpen and won’t be there a second beyond the moment Kevin Shackleford, David Hernandez or Michael Lorenzen is ready. That might be tomorrow.
Anyhow, Jim Riggleman saw fit to bring Kevin Quackenbush into a one-run game against the Cardinals and the predictable disaster happened. 3-2 became 6-2, then 9-2. (Quackenbush got to start a second inning!).
Back to the fundraiser. We know it’s hard to process the idea of reading more about the Reds right now. But we only raise money one week out of the year. We could wait for a week when the Reds are winning, but that doesn’t seem like a particularly viable strategy right now.
Anyhow, don’t hold us responsible for your feelings toward Jim Riggleman’s bullpen decisions, please. Or the team’s start in general. We didn’t do it.
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Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.