On Wednesday night in Los Angeles, Raisel Iglesias racked up his seventh loss of the year to go along with two blown saves. Despite still being a well above average pitcher, this year feels like Iglesias has been more vulnerable and cost the Reds more wins. What is really going on with the Reds reliever?

In full disclosure, I have been a proponent of the Reds trading Iglesias for about the past three years. Not because I do not like him, but simply because he has value that I thought the Reds could have taken advantage of. With the Reds being closer to fielding a competitive team than in years prior and Iglesias down to 2+ years left on his contract, I am not sure how I should feel anymore.

For that reason, I have provided facts, statistics and graphs to let you, the reader, decide how you feel. Is Iglesias still the best option in the Reds bullpen? Should he be replaced as the closer? Should Dick Williams and Nick Krall ship him off to a playoff contender (let’s be real, the Reds are not one) as soon as they get an opportunity? Only you can decide. Have fun!

High Level

  • Raisel Iglesias is 29 years old. He is under contract through the 2021-2022 season and will earn just over $9MM per year.
  • Based on current contracts in place, he will be the 16th highest paid relief pitcher in baseball next season. (FYI, the Cubs have $51MM tied up in just three relievers for 2020)
  • In 2019, his ERA is 3.86 in 32.3 IP. For his career, he has a 3.05 ERA in 354.1 IP.
  • In 2019, his FIP/xFIP is 3.92/4.02. For his career, they are 3.50/3.53.

Advanced Metrics

  • In 2019, he has accumulated 0.5 WAR and -0.94 WPA (win probability added). For his career, he has accumulated 6.0 WAR and 5.65 WPA.
  • His -5.58 -WPA (his cumulative negative WPA) for 2019 ranks 3rd worst among MLB relievers.
  • Since 2015, his 5.65 WPA ranks 25th best among all MLB relievers.
  • Since 2015, his 3.50 FIP ranks 59th out of 271 MLB relievers while his xFIP ranks 58th.
  • Since 2015, his ERA- is 73, FIP- is 84, and xFIP- is 86.
  • In 2019, his ERA- is 86, FIP- is 88, and xFIP- is 92.

Splits, Strikeouts and Walks

  • Since 2015, his FIP vs LHH is 4.50 compared to 2.71 vs RHH
  • In 2019, his FIP vs LHH is 7.29 compared to 1.78 vs RHH
  • Since 2015, his K/9 is 23% above league average, his BB/9 is 5% above average and his K/BB is 29% above average.
  • In 2019, his K/9 is 33% above average, his BB/9 is 24% below average, and his K/BB is 8% above average.

Batted Ball Profile

  • Since 2015, his HR/9 is 8% above average. In 2019, it is 4% below average.
  • Since 2015, his GB% is 9% below average and his FB% is 3% above average.
  • In 2019, his GB% is 40% below average and his FB% is 20% above average.

  • Since 2015, his barrel % allowed is 5.5%, his average exit velocity allowed is 86.4 mph and his hard hit % allowed his 29.4%
  • In 2019, his barrel % allowed is 8.2%, his average exit velocity allowed is 89.1 mph and his hard hit % allowed his 34.1%.
  • In 2019, league average barrel % is 6.3%, exit velocity is 87.4 mph and hard hit % is 34.3%.

Statcast Data

  • Since 2015, his xSLG against is 0.359, his xwOBA against is 0.290 and his xwOBACON against is 0.361
  • In 2019, his xSLG against is 0.392, his xwOBA against is 0.310 and his xwOBACON against is 0.418
  • In 2019, league average xSLG is 0.409, xwOBA is 0.318 and his xwOBACON against is 0.370

Below are graphs showing his change in pitch usage and the xwOBA for each pitch over time.


11 Responses

  1. Curtis Williams

    I also feel he should have been traded several times over now. How would the Reds look now if they would have packaged him with Green and another prospect for Yelich?

  2. Jack

    His peak trade value has passed due to his poor performance, as usual Reds held on to a piece that was of no real use to them until too late.

  3. Centerfield

    Unfortunately the only way to build RI’s trade value is going to be using him in a traditional closer role (where I believe he performs somewhat better). Boston or Atlanta could be suitors. I do agree that closers should ALWAYS be on the block. This may end up being a strategy for 2020 unless another teams injuries create desperation.

  4. Bill J

    I thought last year Iggy had started to slip and suggested him and Scooter to Atlanta for LH pitcher Gohara and outfielder Pache if the Braves would do it. To late now.

  5. wanderinredsfan

    Needs to be worked into every opportunity possible until someone comes calling with a suitable offer. He needs traded before the deadline, or held until the same time next season. Unfortunately, a sub-par stretch in the meantime would effectively drive his value under water.
    It’s nail-biting time.

  6. KYpodman

    They should have sent him to the Marlins, with Barnhart, and a top prospect for Realmuto this past off season.

    • Lwblogger2

      I’m not sure the Marlins would have taken him. His deal isn’t a bad one but the Marlins are fully rebuilding and I don’t think his over $8-million salary would have enticed them. The top prospect and either Barnhart or Casali, yes.

  7. Kelly Green

    Seven losses and 2 blown saves for RI. Can’t trade him now, but we can sure take him out of the closer role. If we had made the move when his struggles began (keeping in mind they began in Spring Training), we would probably, ?? ??? ???? ?????, be a .500 ballclub by now. Salary shouldn’t dictate significance.

  8. Lwblogger2

    As the team isn’t in contention but considering Iglesias has 2 more years on his deal, I can easily see both sides of this.

    On one hand there is the “Always be trading Closers” rule, which has been advocated quite a lot. On the other hand you have the “A team that’s going to compete needs someone to close out games.”

    Going on the assumption that the Reds are trying to compete in 2020 and beyond, then I’d be fairly reluctant to trade Iglesias. I wouldn’t actively shop him. Why? Well it isn’t so much about just closing out games. It has more to do with this simple question. Can the Reds get the same kind of production for the same amount of cash? If you move Iglesias then there is a whole in the pen where he was. Either you need to pick up a “Closer” or your in-house options need to close. Who works the high-leverage situations in the 7th and 8th? The 6th?

    Now the wildcard really is this. If the Reds want to use Iglesias in non-traditional (since the 80s), non-save, high-leverage situations, and if Iglesias continues to be resistant to such usage and continues to not perform well in those circumstances; I think you have to shop him. The players don’t run the team. While a player may have a say, at the end of the day the player needs to perform in the situations that managment wants to use him in.

    With the way he’s currently performing, if the Reds do decide to move him, I wouldn’t be shocked at a rather low return. He’s got a good team-record and he’s not having a bad year exactly, but he’s owed pretty good money (not unreasonable). The team wanting to aquire him also may want to use him in those situations he’s been unhappy and non-performant (small sample) in.