Report: Bryan Price’s job security with the Reds “extremely tenuous”

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Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the job security of Reds manager Bryan Price is “extremely tenuous”. He adds that Hall of Famer and long-time Red Barry Larkin is viewed as the most likely successor if Price’s seat were vacated.

The Reds entered play Saturday with a 55-77 record, dead last in the NL Central. They lost nine games in a row between August 14-23, and are poised to finish fifth in the division for the first time since 2008. Their .417 winning percentage would be their worst since 2001.

In fairness to Price, the Reds’ August slump came after the Reds traded away ace Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake at the trade deadline. They also traded Marlon Byrd two weeks ago.

Carlos Martínez to pitch out of bullpen upon return from injured list

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Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said pitcher Carlos Martínez will work out of the bullpen when he returns from the injured list, The Athletic’s Mark Saxon reports. Shildt noted that the decision is based on Martínez’s needs rather than the team’s needs, which suggests he may not yet have the strength to pitch as a starter.

Martínez, 27, opened the season on the injured list due to a right rotator cuff strain. The right-hander was also injured last year, battling lat and oblique injuries. He will go to extended spring training and likely begin a minor league rehab assignment next week. Based on that time frame, Martínez should be activated around mid-May.

Last year, Martínez made 18 starts and 15 relief appearances, posting a 3.11 ERA with five saves and a 117/60 K/BB ratio across 118 2/3 innings. It is unclear what role(s) Martínez will have in the bullpen, but he could eventually help set up for closer Jordan Hicks.