The Mets moved to a six-man rotation this week after Dillon Gee’s return from the disabled list, but they are apparently bailing on it before even getting through the first turn.
According to Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal, Mets manager Terry Collins said after last night’s loss to the Diamondbacks that the team will likely move back to a standard five-man rotation in the near future.
“I’m just tired of answering the questions, so we may go back to being traditional,” Collins said.
Questions from whom?
“Everybody,” he continued. “My wife. I’m tired of her wanting to know who’s pitching.”
Collins was trying to be funny there, but Diamond writes that the pitchers involved didn’t feel comfortable with the change in their routines and were worried that it would impact their performance. In fact, none of them publicly supported the idea.
Of course, part of the motivation behind the six-man rotation was to help limit the workloads of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard. Assuming they are going back to a standard five-man, they’ll have to get creative to give them some rest, especially with another young arm, Steven Matz, likely to be promoted to the majors soon.
As for who will get the boot from the rotation, Diamond writes that Gee is most likely to be moved to the bullpen. And that makes sense considering that he was expected to begin the year in a relief role before Zack Wheeler required season-ending Tommy John surgery. Jon Niese has been shaky recently, but he strengthened his case by allowing three runs over six innings with eight strikeouts and one walk last night against the Diamondbacks. He’s also the lone left-hander in the rotation. At least for now.
On a related note, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported yesterday that the Mets are “really ramping up” their efforts to trade Gee and Niese.
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.