Last year at this time Sean Marshall was beginning the season as the Reds’ closer, but that didn’t last long and now he’s third in the bullpen hierarchy behind Aroldis Chapman and Jonathan Broxton. If he can get healthy enough to pitch, that is.
Marshall hasn’t been available yet this season because of shoulder fatigue, telling John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that the rest is “just precautionary” and he’s “probably a day or two away” from being ready to pitch.
By keeping Chapman as a reliever the Reds’ bullpen depth is certainly strong enough to cope without Marshall for a while, but he’s been one of the best setup men in baseball for the past three seasons with 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings and ERAs of 2.65, 2.26, and 2.51.
Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that former Yankees manager Joe Girardi took himself out of the running for the Reds’ and Rangers’ managerial openings. The “industry speculation” is that Girardi is waiting a year for a potential opening to manage the Cubs.
Current Cubs manager Joe Maddon has one more year left on his contract. While the Cubs have played quite well under his tenure, the front office and Maddon haven’t had any discussions about an extension, which means 2019 might be his final year with the club. Under Maddon’s leadership since 2015, the Cubs won the championship in 2016 and compiled a 387-261 (.597) record during the regular season.
Girardi, 54, spent his first four seasons in the majors with the Cubs and another three towards the end of his career. He managed the Marlins for one year in 2006, then managed the Yankees from 2008-17, leading them to a World Series in ’09 and an overall regular season record of 910-710 (.562).