In a move viewed as little more than a formality, the Nationals have officially exercised their 2011 option on manager Jim Riggleman rather than buying him out for $100,000.
“He is a terrific baseball manager,” general manager Mike Rizzo told Bailey Stephens of MLB.com. “He has great respect from his peers in this game. When the game starts, he is as good as anybody in the game. He has the respect in the clubhouse. He is a diligent worker and he is a loyal employee.”
Riggleman has a 102-135 record and .430 winning percentage since taking over for Manny Acta in the middle of last season. He also previously managed the Padres, Cubs, and Mariners, compiling a career record of 624-787 (.442) while finishing above .500 just twice in 11 seasons.
During the past 100 years no one in baseball history has managed more games with a lower winning percentage than Riggleman.
The Reds have sent second baseman Scooter Gennett in for an MRI exam after he was forced to make an early departure from Friday’s 6-4 loss to the Brewers. The exact nature of the injury has yet to be reported, but starting pitcher Robert Stephenson said Gennett may have hurt himself after he “rolled weird” while trying to rein in a ground ball. He appeared to be grabbing at his right thigh/groin area immediately afterward and was helped off the field.
Following the incident, the 28-year-old was swiftly replaced by veteran infielder Carlos Rivero, who went hitless as he finished out the game. Though Gennett went 0-for-1 in his lone at-bat on Friday, he’s been tearing through the Cactus League competition this spring with a .351/.405/.486 batting line in 42 plate appearances so far.
The extent of Gennett’s injuries have not been disclosed — and may still be unknown to the team as well — but any significant setback would undoubtedly throw a wrench in the Reds’ plans this season, as he was the presumed starter at the keystone after turning in his first All-Star worthy performance in 2018. Although they have a promising alternative in top infield/outfield prospect Nick Senzel, the 23-year-old has not seen any time at second base this year and was recently reassigned to Triple-A Louisville to start the 2019 season.