Brett Cecil was available out of the Blue Jays’ bullpen last night against the Yankees after taking five days off to rest a groin injury, but the former All-Star setup man walked the first batter he faced and then allowed a bases-clearing triple to Brian McCann.
He was then removed from the game and immediately afterward told reporters that he’s headed to the disabled list, saying:
It stinks, but I said I was ready to go today, everything felt good, but I also said I don’t know how it’s going to hold up under the adrenaline of coming out of the bullpen, especially in Yankee Stadium, bases loaded. If I can’t deal with that, then I need to get it taken care of.
It’s a little odd that the Blue Jays would throw Cecil into such a difficult spot if his health status was still in any sort of question, but Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports that he’d had problem-free bullpen sessions earlier this week.
Cecil hasn’t allowed a home run this season and his strikeout rate is a career-high 12.3 per nine innings compared to 10.4 per nine innings last season, but he’s walked 16 batters in 26 frames to be much less reliable than in his All-Star campaign.
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.