For some fans the final straw came before last night. For some others, last night may have been it. Maybe for some others they aren’t there yet. But if you are the Cincinnati Reds decision makers, that time has to be now, doesn’t it? If the struggles for Raisel Iglesias were limited to just 2020, the argument could be made that things could turn around – it’s only been seven games and 7.0 innings. The argument could be made that he’s got a 1.14 WHIP and he’s struck out 13 batters with just one walk.
But going back to the start of 2019, Raisel Iglesias is 4-14. His ERA? It’s 4.50. Simply put, he’s not getting the job done.
For all of the talk from Iglesias about wanting to only be in closer situations, he just hasn’t performed well enough in those situations to warrant continuing to get them. And while the Reds bullpen hasn’t exactly been great outside of the 9th inning, there are options to look at who have been getting the job done.
Last night saw Lucas Sims come out of the bullpen for the Reds and get the job done. The 26-year-old reliever has a 0.82 ERA in 11.0 innings this season, has allowed all of three hits, walked four batters, and he’s struck out 16 of the 41 hitters that he’s faced. Nate Jones seems to have the confidence of his manager, and has primarily been the set up guy this year. He’s allowed three earned runs in 10 games this season over his 7.2 innings with three walks and 10 strikeouts. Amir Garrett has a 3.52 ERA in 7.2 innings, has allowed just three hits, has three walks, and he’s struck out 11 hitters this season.
Raisel Iglesias doesn’t need to be sent out to Prasco Park to “figure it out”. What he does need to do, though, is find consistency. When he’s on, he’s really on. But far too frequently in the last two seasons, he’s come out and simply not been on. And much like last night in St. Louis, when he’s not on, it’s ugly and quickly. Holding a 2-run lead going into the bottom of the 9th, he failed to record an out before the game was tied, the winning run was on third base, and he was removed from the game.
The Cincinnati Reds are more than a third of the way through the 2020 season at this point. While the playoffs are expanded, and by default that makes it easier to get into them, every game is magnified due to the limited number of them. At this point the team needs to try someone else. If Raisel Iglesias moves into another role in the bullpen and starts to look like the guy he was from 2016-2018 who posted a 2.47 ERA in 166 games – by all means, get him back to the closers role if whoever is there shows signs of struggle. But right now, it’s Iglesias who has continued to show signs of struggle.