As rumors swirl around the Rockies’ asking price for Ubaldo Jimenez and various teams’ interest level in the 27-year-old right-hander, Jimenez made it clear yesterday that he’s not looking to be traded and wants to remain in Colorado for the rest of his career, telling Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post:
As a player, you always want to be on the same team for your whole career. I’d like to finish my career here, but that’s something you can’t control. Baseball is a really good game, but there’s a business side. You want to be an example when you talk to other guys about being in the organization. You always want to set a good example for guys coming from another team or the minor leagues. They’ll do what’s best for the team.
Jimenez signed with the Rockies out of the Dominican Republic as a 17-year-old, so he’s been in the organization for 11 years. He also inked a long-term contract extension in January of 2009 that keeps him under team control through 2014, which has actually made him a more attractive trade target.
And unlike most pitchers Jimenez’s career numbers suggest that he wouldn’t benefit a ton from no longer calling Coors Field home, as he has a 3.68 ERA in 413 innings in Colorado compared to a 3.51 ERA in 425 innings on the road. His numbers would likely be better elsewhere because every pitcher would benefit from not having to pitch half his games at Coors Field, but so far at least Jimenez has been very well-suited for Colorado’s ballpark and the extra run support there has made him 29-19 at home versus 26-25 on the road.
The Cincinnati Reds have fired manager Bryan Price. He’ll be replaced on an interim basis by bench coach Jim Riggleman. The team also fired pitching coach Mack Jenkins. The club also added Louisville manager Pat Kelly to the staff as the new bench coach and Double-A pitching coach Danny Darwin as the new big league pitching coach.
It was only a matter of time for Price, whose Reds have begun the season 3-15. This was Price’s fifth season at the helm and the Reds never won more than 76 games in any of his previous seasons, doing so in his first year, in 2014. They won 68 games in both 2016 and 2017 and 64 games in 2015. While that’s far more attributable to the Reds talent level than anything Price ever did or did not do, at some point the manager will take the fall for a team that makes no progress.
Price’s tenure will likely be considered largely forgettable in the view of history, but he did have a pretty memorable moment as Reds manager in April of 2015, when he went on a profanity-laced tirade at the media because they reported the availability or lack thereof of certain players for an upcoming game. Which is part of the media’s job, even if Price didn’t fully grok that at the time. The tirade itself was pretty epic, though, with then Cincinnati Enquirer reporter C. Trent Rosecrans reporting that “there were 77 uses of the “F” word or a variant and 11 uses of a vulgar term for feces (two bovine, one equine).”
Taking over will be Jim Riggleman, who last managed in the big leagues with the Washington Nationals, resigning in June of 2011 because he was unhappy that he did not get a contract extension. It was a weird episode, the sort of which a lot of guys couldn’t have come back from, perhaps being considered quitters. Riggleman took a job managing the Reds’ Double-A team, however, then moved on to Triple-A and then the Reds’ big league coaching staff. There’s something to be said for persistence. And for being a big league lifer.
Anyway, Price’s exit is not likely to change the Reds’ course too much in 2018. But, as it is so often said in baseball, sometimes you gotta make a change all the same.