The Cincinnati Reds signed Raisel Iglesias to a 3-year, $24.125M deal this offseason. The deal wasn’t an extension, but simply a way to guarantee his money due in 2019-2021 rather than go through the arbitration process in each of those years. At the time the deal was signed, the Reds seemed to be hinting at the usage of Iglesias in a non-traditional closers role.
David (Bell) and Derek (Johnson) will spend time with Raisel over the winter,” Dick Williams said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with. The more we see an elite arm like this, the better off we are as a team. This gives us the flexibility, and David and Derek are of the mind they want the flexibility to be able to use [him] whenever the situation calls for it.”
If you’re reading this, then you have surely been following the Reds this season. And that means you’ve seen that Raisel Iglesias has had some struggles on the mound. He’s already lost five games this season. His ERA is at 4.86, in large part due to the fact that he’s served up four home runs in 16.2 innings.
The fact is, at least to this point in the season, Raisel Iglesias has struggled pitching for the Cincinnati Reds. He told Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer this:
The way they are using me is horribly wrong.
There are some things that are confusing with all of this. As noted in the Nigthengale article, Iglesias at the time of his new deal seemed to be on board with a bit of a different kind of usage. That doesn’t seem to be the case any longer.
One thing that the Reds reliever noted was that other closers don’t pitch in tie games. Redleg Nation’s own Matt Wilkes pointed out on twitter that that belief isn’t exactly true.
Raisel Iglesias says other “closers” don’t appear in tie games. Yeah, about that… pic.twitter.com/eWOVUhCrId
— Matt Wilkes (@_MattWilkes) May 6, 2019
As you can see, Raisel Iglesias is at the top of that list. But he’s not exactly running away from everyone else, either.
The usage of Raisel Iglesias is different than what it has been in the past. Somewhat. He has been used in multi-innings in the past. And he has been used in some tie games in the past, too. But things are a little more of each this year. And it’s also clear that the struggles are getting to Iglesias a bit, too. It might be time for manager David Bell and pitching coach Derek Johnson to have another talk with their reliever about how he’s being used, why he’s being used that way, and try to get everyone on the same page.