A good number of Cincinnati Reds fans were off of the Bryan Price train before the 2018 season began. If you have ever been on social media, or sports talk radio, or in public in the Cincinnati area, that much was clear this winter.

Those who were remaining entering the year as jumping off left-and-right. Last night in Philadelphia seemed like it was the last straw for the holdovers. Homer Bailey took a no-hitter into the 6th inning before a 1-out single ended his bid for a third one in his career. Before the inning was over the Phillies would tie the game up at 1-1.

It was that 7th inning where things began to go awry for Bryan Price. He went to Jared Hughes to begin the inning. Left handed hitter Nick Williams led off the inning with a double. Right hander Scott Kingery would strikeout, but the Phillies then brought on switch hitter Andrew Knapp to hit left handed against Hughes. He would ground out. Then another lefty stepped to the plate for Philadelphia and JP Crawford came through with a go-ahead RBI single. You can make the argument that if Price went with one of his lefties for the inning that you’d still have to face right handers Scott Kingery and either Jorge Alfaro (who was pinch hit for), or another pinch hitter that would have been right handed during the inning.

The Reds didn’t score in the top of the 8th inning. That meant the team was heading into the bottom of the 8th inning, with the top of the lineup for the Phillies due up, in a 1-run game. Unless Raisel Iglesias wasn’t available for some reason we don’t know about – he’s pitched just one time in the last week, this was the perfect time to bring him into the game. The option that Bryan Price chose, instead, was a pitcher who had never thrown a Major League pitch.

Tanner Rainey entered the game and made his Major League debut, in a tight game. Now, Rainey has outstanding stuff. No one is doubting that. But, as I wrote on Tuesday afternoon, with his history of inconsistency with the strikezone, it would probably be beneficial to find an ideal spot for him to come into the game when a walk might now be the game. The right hander has thrown, well, now, 18 total innings above A-ball. One of them was Tuesday night. Things didn’t go well for Rainey. Before you knew it, he had just given up a grand slam and the Phillies were ahead 6-1 and the Reds were 2-8 on the season.

It’s been confusing decision after confusing decision by Bryan Price this year. And many in the past, too, but this season he’s made ones that are just too confusing to understand. Yovani Gallardo was released before the game. This is the same guy that in the last week was pitching in close games for the Reds, while Amir Garrett and his 98 MPH fastball from the left side was out there, essentially, pitching mop up duty and then unavailable in close games to face lefties.

The Cincinnati Reds needed a quick start to the season. The schedule was going to make that tough. How Bryan Price has managed has seemingly made it tougher. The team has the worst record in baseball. They’ve struggled almost across the board. The few fans that were hanging around are jumping overboard left-and-right. Joey Votto said he wanted to start winning. Dick Williams said the same thing. Bob Castellini has been saying it since he bought the team.

The winning isn’t happening. And maybe nothing in the win-loss column would have played out differently this season had Bryan Price made better reasoned decisions. But, we won’t know. What we do know is that it’s tough to sit here, less than two weeks into the season, and think that the decisions that have been made were the right ones. There’s no need for hindsight on many of them because they were obvious at the time. The seat can’t possibly get any hotter for Bryan Price than it is right now.

Cincinnati - T Shirt

87 Responses

  1. theRickDeLux

    This team is not competitive. As someone that actually coaches and manages, that is 100% on the coaching staff and the upper management for providing inferior talent for his/her coaching staff. Any other market than a “small” market like Cincinnati, this lot would have been ridiculed by the local media and run out of town years prior. Cincinnati fans deserve and should DEMAND better.

    • Mike Miller

      I am still loving me some Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier. I have had enough of Bryan Price. I had hoped they would hire Riggleman instead but no. Therefore, I am now a Mets fan. I ordered a Mets cap and shirt yesterday and I am moving on to happier days. Almost all the players the Reds traded away are still playing good baseball.

      • Keith

        You think Riggleman will be an improvement? I’m no fan of Price, but Riggleman I’d the last person i want to see managing this team.

      • B-town Fan

        Mike, your a Mets fan now!!! Then you weren’t really a Reds fan. I’m almost to the half century mark, I’ve been a Reds since I was 5 yrs old, that will never change.

  2. Todd Powers

    No one understands the Amir Garrett situation. My only conclusion is the justification of the Cueto trade, because, to my eye and ears (I listened to Spring Training games) Garrett seemed to be getting it done.

    And to not use him in situations where he could succeed…

    Makes no sense.

    • Bubba Woo

      Amen! Garrett was the best pitcher in ST, and unlike Reed, actually has had periods of success as a MLB starter. Price lost me there. But then, last night, to put a guy making his debut in that situation, when he had Garrett and his 0.00 ERA just sitting there, is just inexcusable.

  3. HavaKlu

    I’m not a fan of Price but everyone criticizes him for not playing the young guys and then criticize him for using a young guy ( Rainey) in a tight situation. I frankly liked the idea of seeing what Rainey could do in a close game. What I’d like to know is who called 5 straight sliders.!

    • Cguy

      I agree. If fans at this site only want to see young players/prospects used in situations where they are likely to succeed- by all means- tell Williams to leave them in Louisville.

      • AndyBado

        I’m a proponent of playing the young guys, but no one is saying that’s the only criteria in determining playing time or when to put pitchers in. Ideally you are balancing challenging young players and putting them in positions to succeed. As Doug said, Rainey is erratic. He doesn’t have any experience in the big leagues. So Price puts him on the mound in a high leverage situation? That’s not the time to test a reliever like that. He should ease him into it.

    • Norwood Nate

      I get what you’re saying, and I’ve been one wishing he used the younger guys more often. More often than not those are position players than come up and sit on the bench before being sent back down, but I get your point and it’s valid.
      At the same time, there is some difference between going to the young guys and setting them up to fail. Just about any pitcher is going to have some nerves on their MLB debut. Rainey has a hard time harnessing his control as it is, throw in debut jitters and the pressure of a 1 run game in the bottom of the 8th and that’s a pressure cooker. I don’t know many guys that would succeed in that position. That to me was setting him up to fail.
      If he had gone to Garrett there, especially as Hernandez, Santana, and Herrera were all batting LH, it would have made a lot more sense and I don’t think anyone would have had issue with that move. (And he still could have gone to a young guy).

      • Cguy

        Fine, great use Garrett last night after using him for 2.1 innings 2 games ago. But then you’re committing him to 60- 70 1-2 inning appearances in 2018. Not fair to say you want to stretch him out to be in the rotation 2nd half of this season. He can’t be a LOOGY & an sp in the same season.

      • Norwood Nate

        Maybe you’re using a more general “you” but I’ve never said I wanted Garrett stretched out. In fact I feel as if I’ve been a proponent of moving him to the bullpen due to lack of options and time to develop as a starter.

    • B-town Fan

      Hava, I agree with everything you said, including the five straight sliders. But all of this gnashing of teeth isn’t the main issue, the main issue is the Reds aren’t hitting plain and simple. Scoring runs cures a lot of Ill’s. The offense needed to get off to strong start to give the young pitching a chance to settle in.

      • Tom

        Hate to break the news, but the Reds have the worst ERA in MLB as of today. Their OPS is 23rd.

  4. Simon Cowell

    I’m not a fan of Bryan Price but just listen to yourselves. You demand rookies to be played. A rookie is played and gets clobbered you demand Price’s head on a platter. Realistically it is time for Price to go because no matter what he does he can’t win. When that happens time to exit the stage.
    For what it is worth Bryan Price isn’t the one who only drove in 1 run. The Reds offense is currently underperforming and that is putting additional pressure on an already volatile situation. For what it is worth no matter who implanted as the next Reds manager they’ll be criticized until we win a world series.

    • Ghettotrout1

      I agree with the rookie non rookie talk. My issue is why is Garrett still in the pen.

    • Doug Gray

      I think you are confused. There’s a difference between “demanding a rookie plays” and going with a rookie with zero experience in that situation. We demand a guy like Alex Blandino plays over Cliff Pennington. We don’t demand that the rookie plays over Raisel Iglesias, Eugenio Suarez, or Joey Votto. Make sense?

      • Ghettotrout1

        Douglas I am not saying Price is a good manager. But he does get blasted for not playing rookies. Yes the move to put Rainey in instead of Iggy or Garrett makes zero sense especially since both hadn’t pitched the day before or needed extra rest for some reason. I mean the Reds have an awful team this year and no matter what Price was getting canned at some point. I’m just saying he gets blasted when he does play rookies and when he doesn’t. Yes this was not an ideal situation to put in a rookie but either way he gets blasted thats the point.

      • Scott C

        I am 100% on board with you Doug. I texted that very thing to my son last night when Rainey came into the game, mostly just to vent my frustration. I wanted to pull my hair out. Any decent manager, administrator, boss wants to put his young new people into situations where they succeed. Anyone could see last night was not the situation. There were too many options for Price to go to there Garrett, Iglesias.
        I don’t care so much about the wins and losses, but that is already 3 games this year in games in which we had a chance that Price directly blew though senseless decisions.
        PRICE HAS TO GO!

  5. icehole3

    Did anyone think the Reds would compete this year? Price in the final year of his contract may as well let him absorb all these loses. Then start fresh next year with another loser manager.

    • Simon Cowell

      yup! Managers don’t win games. They just keep the players from killing each other.

    • Scott C

      This is not about winning or even competing this year this is about developing the young core players. Which Price evidently has no interest in doing.

  6. Cguy

    If Joey Votto wants to win anytime in the next 2-3 years, he’ll ask to be traded. If Williams wants to start winning, he’ll augment this roster with some capable, ML players (Cozart?) instead of discount retreads(Gallardo, Pennington, Gosselin,etc.) . As for Bryan Price, anyone want to start a conversation about his apparent inability to get the best from Toni Cingrani, I’m all ears. Anyone want to discuss his apparent inability to help R. Stephenson or C. Reed when they’re on the ML roster, I think that’s fair game. Even to discuss the fact that 2 of the Reds starting 8 position players are on the DL due to HBP injuries, I think that something Price should work on with his counterparts. No manager could win with this roster. Least of all Bryan Price.

    • Colorado Red

      Never the less, he still makes questionable decisions.
      I still wonder why Garret was not brought in.
      Start the Rookie in a lower level situation.
      He just does not seem to get it.
      Are we looking at a 130 loss season?
      (doubt it, but it is time to move on, the team look dead)

  7. FUBAR

    Doug recently posted a link to an article about the value of draft picks that highlighted the value of top 5 picks draft picks. If the goal is to have a world series caliber team (see Houston after years of tanking), am I the only one that thinks the reds need to keep losing at least two more years to get more Nick-Senzel-type top five players? Does anyone really think the reds have any prospects that can be true impact players in the next two years besides Senzel? The odds of the small market reds competing with big market teams is very low anyhow. Throw in the fact that many teams currently have better stocked farm systems than the reds (e.g. Yankees, Braves, etc.). I say the only realistic goal should be to keep tanking and watch the top five picks build the farm system into a world series contender. The reds had a borderline playoff team a few years back. Here’s hoping for more than that in the future. Its time to embrace reality and extend Brian Price’s contract two years! :)

      • Tom

        When the players you get back from the veteran sell off are basically low impact then you have to extend the rebuild from 2-4 years to 4-7 years by waiting for draft picks. 2020 here we come. Fun! In all honesty trading Votto is a prudent thing to do if someone is offering a real prospect package. History shows this year or last could be the last of Votto as he will be remembered. Rolling dice on 3 seasons from now isn’t wise. Looking at the rotation with sober eyes says even the best of scenarios this will take 2 seasons for learning for them to get established. 2018 is in the bag.

    • Colorado Red

      Lets keep doing the same thing.
      If we extend price, we can have top 5 picks forever.
      Yea

      • Cguy

        The Reds knew they couldn’t compete in 2018, which was one of the reasons they extended Price. They want Bryan Price to be the “whipping boy” of this organization & deflect attention from them. He’s just doing a splendid job at that (according to posts on this & other sites).

      • FUBAR

        The worst team in MLB last year won 64 games. The reds won 68 and got the 5th pick in the draft. Do four more wins really matter to fans if it means the reds could have gotten the 1st pick in this years draft?

        Also, high picks like Hunter Greene add value and excitement to the organization. This should be included in any conversation about losses in fan base support due to tanking. Did mid round picks like Blandino boost fan base excitement anything close to 2nd overall picks Senzel and Greene?

        This year optimistic projections had the reds winning 75 games or so. If instead they win 64 but get the first pick, doesn’t that make more sense in the long run? In reality, complaining from “true fans” puts pressure on the team to win a few more measly games which causes the team to miss out on the top picks (thereby lowering the probability of long term success).

        People love the advanced statistics, except for the stats that say tanking works. Houston is the model. Lose while building the farm system and then when the time is right, sign some veteran players. In the NBA, Philadelphia is the model. Tank and when the time is right, sign a veteran and make a title run (when LeBron joins them next year).

        Watch the language

  8. MikeInSoCal

    We could say the Reds aren’t going to compete this season so why not play the kids. But when we are deep into a winnable game the strategy should be to put your best possible player out there. To me Price manages like a pitching coach who worries about who is going to be fresh for tomorrow’s game. Never been a fan of his mumbo jumbo.

  9. KLugo

    Price must be drinking from the same well as Marvin Lewis. They’d rather be right than do right.

  10. Brad

    I am okay with the Reds not winning. Especially with injuries to Desclafani, Finnegan, Suarez, Schebler, Lorenzon, D Hernandez, Shackelford, etc.

    It’s more how they are losing:
    1) Confusing roster moves. Gallardo, Quackenbush, Gosselin/Pennington, having Ervin and not playing him,pving Garrett to bullpen and using to mop up, moving Cody Reed into rotation

    2) Confusing in game decisions: having Zach Weiss up for half the games and not putting him in a game, bring Rainey up 3 days before Super 2 cut off and throwing him, In a 1 run game, on first day after saying Blandino didnt play 1st day on roster to “get his feet wet.”

    They go together. I am a Dick Williams believer. Would love to see a manager who works in line with what Williams and the front office envision. Has seemed like FO and Price have been on 2 distant pages for years now.

    If Reds lose because they are out talented and other teams outspend them, so be it. But they have to make right moves with roster, right moves in game and players have to play sound baseball. Just to have a chance.

    • Kindell

      Your last paragraph sums it up. I think the reason this is so frustrating is because some of these decisions are holding us back. Even with the injuries, I still believe this team is not as bad as the record says.

      I think there is a few things to still be optimistic about.

      1. The rotation. They have pitched pretty well outside a few innings, and I do not believe Castillo will continue to struggle. I think Castillo has been struggling with the weather more than the rest.

      2. Injuries. Disco injury sucked, but it is expected at this point. The Schebler and Suarez injuries are devistating.

      3. Senzel. I really believe he will be a spark plug on this team and be a huge help to this lineup. He is the complete package. We just need the FO and manager to figure out the best place for him and everyone else.

    • jbonireland

      Well said Brad, I guess my consternation is a lack of real effort by the players. A continuation from last year like they expect to lose. It’s all on the manager and coaches for lack of effort. Talent we may or may not have Price seems to worry about whether the players play rather than whether they should play.

    • AirborneJayJay

      “But they have to make right moves with roster, right moves in game and players have to play sound baseball. Just to have a chance.”
      And the Reds are 0-3 in that regard. The front office is incompetent. The coaching staff is going to battle with too many insufficient or green soldiers. The players are not playing sound baseball, not even anything closely resembling sound. Reds front office management has saddled this team with too many Not Ready For Primetime Players. Most of this mess deserves to go squarely on GM Dick Williams’s shoulders. The Not Ready For Primetime Dick Williams.
      If Dick Williams doesn’t resign his position very, very soon then he has absolutely no shame. This is HIS mess. And HIS alone.

  11. Wes

    Price was never a winner but last part of last season- it was very clear he lost the team. He carried a loosing Ora w him that was undeniable. How do u shake it? Apparently u can’t and it carried into spring training and into season. Been saying it for months- worst move dw has made as gm, BY FAR, is keeping that looser as the manager of team. He’s been a terrible fit the whole time he’s been in Cincy. Fire him and go offer girardi 5/6 million a season or whatever it takes to secure him

  12. Wes

    I also doubt the hot seat. Reds seem to stand unapologetic behind him

  13. Champ Summers

    I’m fine with Rainey coming in but there was a chance to make a move with 2 outs and the bases loaded.

    Someone posted about a super 2 cut off for Rainey. Not sure what his super 2 schedule is but Rainey is likely to go back down and service time and super 2 won’t be an issue for this guy.

    • Doug Gray

      Teams don’t care about the super two, or extra year with relievers. Nor should they.

  14. DX

    In the defense of Price the team has had its share of injuries. In the Pirates series though you could see the difference in what a manager means to a team. I think Price should go. What I don’t understand is, the reason the Reds signed Price to be manager is how he handled the pitching staff. What happened to that?

    The roster is not good enough to compete. The pitching rotation for the Nationals, Cubs, and Mets is how you win games. In my opinion, if the Reds wanted to compete or be a .500 team this year or next, they made a big mistake not trading for Yelich or another quality CF, and a high end starting pitcher.

    • Wes

      Bryan? Dick?? Is that you???

      Price took over a team that was suppose to contend for playoffs and they didn’t. He was hired as an excellent developer of pitching talent and a pitching coach guru yet in his time in cincy he’s had a slew of top 50 pitching prospects projected as front line starters and none of them panned out. He consistently prefers washed up veterans to prospects when reds have no hope for contending and he lost the dugout at the end of last season.

      I’m fine w loosing just as long as you see players/team improving. Who’s getting better that you give price credit for ?

  15. Brad E

    I still go back to Walt saying “we want major league ready talent.” All of our trades have netted us AAAA and journey men players. We sold at the lowest time on Chapman, Cueto trade looks terrible (just put Finnegan in the pen).

    They don’t know how to use the pen.

    This is bad.

  16. Kindell

    I am not a support of Price at all, I think its time for him to go. I disagree with the points being made that Managers don’t have much to do with the outcome. Baseball is a game about situations and that has a lot to do with the manager. It’s what makes the game so great, its strategic, and takes everyone in tune to be successful.
    I also think this team is more talented than fans here give them credit for. As many has pointed out, we are hurting a bit with injuries. I think there is plenty of talent to compete, we are not Detroit or Miami.
    We are a young team who will struggle to overcome bad managerial or front office decisions. We also have been awful on defense. Defense is something this team has been very good at for years. Right now, we have a mix of offense first guys and defense first guys. We need someone who can be a thinker and put the right combinations out on the field in the right situations. Brian Price is not that guy.

  17. asinghoff

    I’m long a believer in the fact that a manager might only be the difference in a game or two in the win column, but I think it’s time that the Reds cut him loose. There is a chance that Price can still have winning seasons as a manager, it just won’t be with the Reds. He’s associated with nothing but losing teams, and it’s hard to shake that association. If you lose as much as he has, it’s hard to motivate a team in the winning direction. The Reds right now are similar to a startup company. You have people who can get you to one level, and then you have people that need to come in and get you to that next level. The Reds need to find someone to get them to that next level. Bring in someone fresh at the midpoint, and get some momentum going towards the end of the season. Bring in a vet or two, and carry that momentum into 2019.

  18. Kap

    This rebuild isn’t over. Simple as that. The Reds got decent talent back from the trades they’ve made (at best). Excluding Suarez and the corpse of Disco. Major ready talent isn’t good enough. Senzel will probably be good, but he alone won’t be enough to save this mess. On top of most of our top pitching prospects are now borderline busts (Stephenson, Reed, jury is still out on Garrett). Trade Iglesias this summer for ACTUAL IMPACT TALENT, NO MATTER WHERE THEY ARE. Triple A, single A, doesn’t matter. And continue drafting in the top 10.

    Sorry for the pessimism everyone, but someone has to tell it how it is. Still a long road ahead and more losing along the way

      • Cguy

        For the 4th consecutive season, the temporary supports have been installed. As for the permanent structural pieces to produce a winning team for several years, not so much. Maybe 60-65% , tops.

  19. Billy

    I’m ready to move on from Price. I’m not of the opinion that it must be done immediately, but I think waiting is only delaying the inevitable.

    That said, I think the problems are deeper than anything a manager does. The rotation has been terrible. The offense isn’t as good as we all thought it was. The defense has been much worse than prior years. The schedule was pretty tough out of the gate. Personnel decisions were perplexing at best. Fan expectations were high that this would be the year that the turnaround would begin. Even Votto hasn’t been hitting.

    I think the Reds are better. The problem is that other teams get better too, and you have to play other teams. I don’t think you can give the team (Price, Williams, whoever) a pass because of injuries. They should be expected – especially in the rotation, where I’d be surprised if more than 1 of Bailey, DeSclafani, and Finnegan are available at the same time. Suarez’s injury hurts, but he was hitting and we were still losing. And Schebler’s injury affects the position we’re most well suited to replace.

    To me, there’s a lot of young pitching here that, at best, is going to takes some lumps as it develops. At worst, there’s no guarantee that any of these guys are really going to pan out. We really need four pitchers from the group of Castillo, Romano, Mahle, Stephenson, Reed, and Garrett to break out this year, and that’s a lot to ask. The one who has looked the best appears to be woefully miscast in some kind of bullpen exile, and rest have been bad, inconsistent, or both.

    This is going to be a long year. The projection systems all said that we were something like the 5th or 6th worst team in baseball. Yet we all believed – at least I did – that they underrated the young pitching and that this team had the potential to compete for a .500 season. From where I sit right now, it looks like 70 wins and a very marginal step forward is probably an accurate assessment. Now I’ve got to get myself used to thinking that way.

  20. mike

    No defense of Price he has been bad since Day 1 he has had 1 winning month in 4 years that’s crazy!!!!

  21. Pat

    Not much said about the Reds’ pitching coach. Got a few questions for him or his role? Doug, can you shed some light?

    • Doug Gray

      Shed some light on what? But no, I probably can’t.

      • Pat

        On the role of the pitching coach…never hear him mentioned. Sounds like dysfunction…GM to Coach to Pitching Coach. Who’s making the decisions on line up, call ups, situations like last night’s debacle or Gallardo pitching when he did? I was hoping you might know what role the pitching coach has compared to Price. Hoping these talents like Garrett, Mahle, Romano, Rainey aren’t stepping into a mess/disarray.

  22. Gilbert Keith Chesterton

    If the Reds were truly willing to go thru a rebuild the right way, with an eye for being great in the future, and not so scared of how building for the future affects the present, they would be giving as much playing time to the younger guys with a lot of team control who are the future of the team.

    Winker, Peraza, and Ervin would be hitting in the lineup every day.

    Castillo, Garrett, Mahle, and Romano would be starting as many games as possible.

    Herget & Rainey would be given ample opportunities to close MLB games

    Iglesias, Duvall and Gennett would be traded at their peak value to bring in as much of a return as possible before the 2018 season begins. Same for Hamilton, if he carries any trade value.

    Bailey would be put in situations to pad his stats (pulling him at the first sign of trouble) and limit his innings, to boost his trade value for a summer deal to a contender for more prospects.

    Yeah, you’re going to lose a lot of games doing this. But it sure helps you in a year or two, when these guys have all had the MLB experience to develop into quality players (hopefully).

    Instead, the Reds seem afraid of losing, and are going after a half-a$$ed rebuild. Which still carries a lot of losing, just without the maximum player development, looking to the future.

  23. Michael B. Green

    I say this every year. More two-seamers. Less four-seamers.

    Worse team in the NL and second worst in MLB in HR/9 allowed again.

  24. Tom

    This team was much tougher under Dusty and Rolen, Phillips, etc.

    Some of these young players seem to have not gotten the message. Win or go home.

    • Doug Gray

      Much tougher? Or the team just had a bunch of better players? Because I’m betting it’s the latter.

      • Tom

        It’s both. Maybe the players look around and see there isn’t enough talent to win – again. That could be effecting things.

        If Price and his players ever did know how to win, to get the most out of the team, they have seemingly forgot. There is nothing working on this team. Same thing last year.
        *Good pitching, good offense, bullpen blows it.
        *Bad pitching, good offense, good bullpen.
        *Good pitching, bad offense, good bullpen.
        No matter what was happening in a given game, they seemed to all find a way to lose it. That’s really on Price. I look at good managers like Hurdle and Showalter and Bochy and they play all their cards right almost all the time even with incomplete rosters.

  25. Krozley

    Among many issues, the biggest one to me is this organization just never seems to come out of spring training ready to compete, especially offensively. From top to bottom, the teams don’t ever seem to hit the first few weeks out of the year. I put that on Price since he sets the tone in ST. I watched a number of pre-game workouts this year and there just seemed to be no joy or purpose among the players. Maybe I just saw the bad days. Still, it is time for a change and maybe that is John Farrell to keep things warm until the inevitable hiring of Larkin who I think, based on how I’ve seen him work with players, would at least have the team ready to play.

  26. The Duke

    The record I’m willing to give Price a pass on. Votto ice cold to start the year, Geno getting hurt, half the bullpen hurt already.

    What I’m not willing to give him a pass on are the baffling personnel decisions. Namely, Garrett being used in the pen and then under-utilized when he has performed. Cody Reed getting a start over him based on a handful of spring innings after he was a batting tee last year. Iglesias being shuffled back into a traditional closer role. Inconsistencies in reasoning behind when rookies play. A little too vet friendly to the retreads. Price just doesn’t inspire much confidence at this point, and this coming from a guy who think Manager have little to do with the outcome of most games.

    • Doug Gray

      I’ve long said that managers don’t make much of a difference unless you are truly terrible. It’s the players that make the difference. But, when you seemingly make bad decision after bad decision after bad decision, well, maybe you are that true outlier.

      How Bryan Price has used the bullpen this year has been about as confusing as possible. He fights to have Amir Garrett in the bullpen instead of the rotation, then doesn’t use him in games that the team can win, for multiple innings, so that he’s then unavailable in games where you should actually be using him.

  27. LL Cool

    Get rid of Mack Jenkins ASAP!!! How are so many pitchers getting hurt?

    • Doug Gray

      Look around baseball. You’re going to have to fire every pitching coach. At every level.

      • LL Cool

        Fire all of them then but have they all been in last place for the last 4 years?

      • Doug Gray

        Well now you’re moving the goalposts.

        But, the current pitching coach hasn’t been in last place for four years. And did you see the rotation for most of last year? They gave 14 starts to Bronson Arroyo and his 84 MPH fastball last season. What can anyone do with that?

  28. AirborneJayJay

    The Rebuild needs a Rebuild.
    Man, even Ajax and a bottle of Lysol cannot get the grime, stench and stink off of this season. What a colossal mess Reds GM Dick Williams has created. Hey Dick, how is that standing pat over the winter on a last place team looking for you now? What an imbecile.

    • Doug Gray

      I think it was a mistake to not add a shortstop or center fielder. Especially since there were legitimate center fielders available on the trade market. But, aside from that, I think that for the most part “standing pat” was the right move. They need to figure out the pitching with what they have internally. This is the last year you can do that, though. You need to know what you’ve got in the Stephenson/Reed/Garrett/Finnegan group. You need to have a much better idea on Mahle/Romano, though you’ve got a tad more time with them – but, it seems we’ll have a much better idea by the end of the year since both are already locked into the rotation.

      I guess my issue with the comment is that, while they didn’t make moves and had a terrible record, the team they went out there with isn’t close to the same. On opening day of 2017 the team didn’t have Mahle, Romano or Castillo. Heck, they didn’t have Bailey, either. That’s four entirely new starters that didn’t pitch but 20 innings for them before June something of 2017. They didn’t make a bunch of moves, but the roster is quite a bit different than it was in 2017, particularly in the first half of 2017. So I think that criticism, while having something to it, doesn’t hold nearly as much water as the way I read it in what it feels like you’re trying to say it.

  29. Tom

    I hope Farrell has identified some serious problems to fix otherwise our scouting and evaluation stinks with pitching. I go back to this idea that relievers can be starters. You have to sit back and say it just isn’t working. So many failures:

    Finnegan
    Lorenzen
    Howard
    Desclafani
    Cingrani
    Garrett
    Stephenson
    Reed
    Iglesias
    Rainey
    Chapman

    These are all players that were either relievers or starters with a “possibly a reliever” profile. It would be a heck of a bullpen if there were room for all of them or if they weren’t hurt from over use.

  30. Cbus

    Votto is a slow starter and this offense will struggle to score runs until he heats up. Suarez and Schebler injuries just make this even worse. The young pitching being inconsistent should have been expected under any manager. The bullpen use I think is on Price, last night seems like a terrible decision to use Rainey but it’s easy to second guess. If Rainey threw 1 fastball instead of hanging a slider we’re probably all raving about how it’s so great Price gave a young guy a chance to succeed.

    • The Duke

      I’m ok with him having Rainey start that inning. The problem comes when Rainey loads the bases and Raisel Iglesias is just collecting dust in the bullpen because it’s not a “closer situation”.

  31. Datdudejs

    To me it seemed like Price set Rainey up for failure. Almost like he purposely threw him to the wolves in a “see, this is why I want experience” move. I feel like the front office signed the veteran guys to make Price happy, and he’s throwing a tantrum since they want him to start playing young guys. It’s a little ridiculous and unprofessional. He is a smart guy, and could have been a good coach if he were better at controlling his anger, and managing people. Time for him and the organization to move on

  32. kevin z

    Ill be positive here I think will go on a run starting in june. We will be to far behind for playoffs but will roll into next year. If healthy Castillo Mahle Romano have more experience by june add in Senzel plus Suarez be back . One key though Fire Price mid late May for this run to Happen in June.

  33. bered

    I know the Pirates were playing the Reds, so maybe it was an illusion, but their position players hit. How did they trade 2 stars and get better.

    • kevin z

      its early plus played our reds plus the tigers that helps greatly lol. Moran a contact OBP type so he helps Cutch has lost a few steps and skill. thinking the Cole trade catch up to them a little later down the road on the Pitching side of things

  34. Steve

    I hope the Reds consider Mike Sarbaugh when selecting their next manager. Proven track record of managing in the minors. Is currently coaching with the Indians. Would be a first time ML manager, so salary would be much lower than say a Joe Girardi. Has gained experience and knowledge under one of the best in Francona. Already knows Goodyear. Would be great if he comes in before the All-Star break and gains experience working with the current group of players for at least half a season. Will be set up to lead the Reds in the near future when we should be more competitive. Sarbaugh for Manager of the Reds!

  35. MK

    The superstar is hitting .231/.279/.231 meaning he has 0 extra base hits. He is just as responsible for the poor start as anyone. In 2016 he blamed his poor first half to being burned out and not doing his normal off season preparation. In a spring training interview this year he said he took more time away from preparations than normal to rest and then went on to say how committed he is to winning this year, Castellini has to get some blame as well negating a Billy Hamilton trade.

  36. AC

    2nd place is no better than 5th. I will never support spending tons of money, or trading young arms for proven guys just to be “competitive” Until you have a good chance at finishing first, it’s all a waste. If the argument is getting butts in the stands, people pay for a winning team, not an 81-81 team.

    • Doug Gray

      2nd place can get you into the playoffs….. so, it’s a lot better than 5th.

      And, generally speaking, 2nd place is going to make the team more money, and in theory, allow them to spend more money the next year, too. And it helps keep people around for the long-term. The St. Louis Cardinals have gotten where they are in vallue and payroll because they just kept on winning. Over and over and over. They don’t have the market advantage that a lot of teams do. They’ve just won for 25 straight years. They’ve built a huge season ticket base, and a generation of die-hard fans in the Midwest, which helps out a little bit in the TV revenue, too. And, having those playoff games, at $75 a ticket, at 40,000 seats per game and getting a few of those per year adds another $10M a season to play around with (more if you make it deep into the playoffs).

  37. Lee Brown

    Price will be fired by mid-May. He should never have been brought back for this season. When you can’t make big league manager decisions correctly, you shouldn’t be in the dugout.

    • Doug Gray

      A newfound ability by him to communicate with young players, I’d hope. Because that’s the reason the Yankees decided to not bring him back in 2018. If there’s truth to that, then it’s a big reason the Reds shouldn’t bring him on.

  38. Mike in Ottawa

    IMO, Rainey and Weiss have proven tonight they are not ready for the bigs. Can’t throw strikes…..