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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8 Responses

  1. kmartin

    Sam Grossman is the analytics guy, right? He is also listed as Vice President, Assistant General Manager. Even though he is an Assistant General Manager it appears his analytical work has no influence on how Price or Riggleman manage. Very frustrating. Surely Grossman can’t approve of batting Peraza first or how the bullpen is managed.

  2. Chad Dotson

    I’m not sure I approve of Syracuse fans in the Nation.

    🙂 Okay, maybe there is room for all of us. Even Orange.

  3. Bill Hedges

    Donation on the way. Thanks for what you guys do (as always)! If only the quality of Reds leadership decisions matched the quality of RedLeg Nation’s literary inputs . . .

  4. David

    Yes indeed. What was Riggleman thinking? The Reds are desperate for a victory, are in a close game, and he brings in possibly the weakest arm from the bull pen.

    Frankly, in a similar situation, Dusty or Bryan Price would have brought in someone else. Needing a victory, in a close game behind by a run, you bring in a better reliever.

    What was he waiting for, in the 7th inning?
    The win loss outcome might have been the same, but this was clearly a managing mistake.
    I think this will soon be a lost season, because I think if the losing keeps up like this, the players are just going to quit playing very hard. This team, in its fumbling incompetence and gross mismanagement, will find new ways to lose.

  5. big5ed

    I just sent in my annual donation. I wore a bag over my head in doing so, but not in protest of the RLN team’s tireless work.

  6. Richard

    Just a heads up … its difficult to find the Donate button on a mobile phone, you might want to have a link. Also its nice having the pledge levels (Home Run, Grand Slam, etc.) available and it was difficult finding the old post.

    Thanks for the great site!

  7. wkuchad

    Finally got around to donating. Thanks REDLEG NATION writers (and posters) for keeping us entertained, even in seasons like this one!