DENVER -- When Raisel Iglesias went on the 10-day disabled list with a left biceps strain Tuesday, Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said he'd use matchups to determine who would finish games when leading. That came into play during Thursday's 5-4 win over the Pirates.Reds lefty Amir Garrett had a
DENVER -- When Raisel Iglesias went on the 10-day disabled list with a left biceps strain Tuesday, Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said he'd use matchups to determine who would finish games when leading. That came into play during Thursday's 5-4 win over the Pirates.
Reds lefty Amir Garrett had a chance to go for a seven-out save after entering with two outs in the seventh. He faced three batters in the ninth -- all lefties -- but when Austin Meadows hit a two-run homer with one out and Pittsburgh had right-handers following, Riggleman went to Jared Hughes to get the final two outs and the save.
"If he had gotten Meadows out, he would have continued. He would have faced [Elias] Diaz," Riggleman said of Garrett. "If he had gotten Diaz out, it would have been Hughes facing [Sean] Rodriguez. When they put in [Gregory] Polanco, he wouldn't have been able to tie it. … Rodriguez is really hitting left-handed pitching well, so I didn't want Amir to face him there."
Garrett, a starter last season who entered with a 2.20 ERA in 23 appearances as a reliever in '18, embraced the chance to work in key situations.
"I love just getting the ball when I'm called upon," Garrett said. "The high-leverage situations, that's always a plus. Those are situations I like to be in. If I'm needed for the third inning, the seventh inning or ninth inning or whatever, I just want to pitch -- that's all."
Bench coach learning the media ropes
Whenever Riggleman speaks to the media postgame, especially at Great American Ball Park, bench coach Pat Kelly is often nearby in the office but you won't see him in camera range or hear his voice. Kelly is just there to listen.
Kelly, who has nearly 30 years of experience coaching and managing on the player development side, was promoted last month from managing at Triple-A Louisville. It came after the Reds reshuffled the coaching staff and Riggleman went from bench coach to replacing Bryan Price as manager on an interim basis.
"In the Minor Leagues when you do a press conference, you've got the beat writer and maybe a news guy and that's about it," Kelly said on Friday. "Here, obviously, there's more [reporters]. I've always been intrigued to see how managers handle that."
Kelly also did the same thing in 2007, when he had a stint as the big league bench coach under then-Reds interim skipper Pete Mackanin. Kelly also is there to be a sounding board and discuss the game with the manager during the cooling-off period before the media can access the clubhouse.
"I just listen to see how they handle everything. It's a big part of the job," Kelly said.
A former big league catcher in 1980 with the Blue Jays, the 62-year-old Kelly has managed at nearly every level in the Reds' system since he joined the organization in 2006. He spent the previous three seasons with Double-A Pensacola and was in his first season with Louisville in 2018.
Managing in the Major Leagues is Kelly's aspiration.
"I'd love to," he said. "That's the ultimate goal for everybody. I've spent 30 years in the Minors as a manager and coach. You want to be at the highest level.
"It's why I go and manage winter ball so often, to get the experience of managing big league players and playing to win every night. You don't always do that in player development."
Would Kelly like a crack at the managing the Reds?
"We'll see. I think Jim is doing a good job," Kelly replied. "You always hope you're a candidate, if there's a position open."
Kelly has enjoyed being at the big league level this season in a clubhouse full of players he had in the lower rungs of the organization.
"That's been really fun," Kelly said. "Most of these guys, I've had somewhere along the line -- whether it's Billings, Bakersfield, Pensacola or even a little bit in Louisville this year. I had Billy [Hamilton] his first year in the Gulf Coast League. So many of these guys, I had them in their first year. You get to see them grow up and become men and obviously, good ballplayers."
Garrett pitched for Kelly at Pensacola in 2016.
"P.K. knows the game," Garrett said. "He's been around a long time. He's one of the people I have the utmost respect for. He knows the game well and when you're not playing it hard or not to his liking, he'll tell you no matter what. It's great having him here. He's another smart individual to have on the bench to help us win ballgames."
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.