Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

MLB News

Inbox: Will Riggleman steer Reds in 2019?

Beat reporter Mark Sheldon answers questions from fans
(Joe Skipper/AP)
September 24, 2018

Who will be filling out the lineup card on Opening Day next year? Do you see Jim Riggleman being retained as manager? Or will the Reds go in a different direction? -- Greg, Colorado Springs, Colo.If the Reds had been at or over .500 under Riggleman, I think he might

Who will be filling out the lineup card on Opening Day next year? Do you see Jim Riggleman being retained as manager? Or will the Reds go in a different direction?
-- Greg, Colorado Springs, Colo.

If the Reds had been at or over .500 under Riggleman, I think he might have been retained before the team finished the season. But after a long stretch of playing well from May through August, they are now 13 games under .500 (63-76) since Riggleman replaced Bryan Price. If Cincinnati loses three more games, the club will equal the 94 losses it had in both 2016 and '17.
Riggleman hopes to stay with Reds
The Reds will use October to search the entire landscape of candidates, and Riggleman will definitely be one of them. He deserves to be. Riggleman did a good job with the roster he had, and he showed he can do the job. He is also open to the newer ways of doing things despite being "old school."
:: Submit a question to the Reds Inbox ::
I can see other potential candidates -- including former Red Sox skipper and current Reds scout John Farrell -- getting a look. President of baseball operations Dick Williams and general manager Nick Krall will have a chance to find their own guy, and they might want someone else who can take the team back to winning.
What moves do you see or think the Reds should do? And do you see Homer Bailey being let go?
-- Mike Lewis, on Facebook

I have no specific moves, other than there will be a search for starting pitching. As for Bailey, he will be owed $28 million for both the final year of his contract in 2019 and the '20 buyout option. I think it was telling that the team had a healthy Bailey sit out and not pitch even when there were openings in the rotation this month. That makes me think they might be willing to eat the money that's left. At this point, it's a sunk cost. If he's not released, Bailey could come to camp and try to earn a rotation spot.
The Reds drafting Jonathan India was a bit of a head scratcher for me. The infield looks set for the long term, with Jose Peraza playing great recently. Is it possible India was drafted to be top prospect trade bait during competitive seasons in the future?
-- Joshua B., Covington, Ky.

Things can change after top prospects are drafted. There could be injuries, trades, depth issues or the need to change positions. And yes, the prospects themselves can also be trade chips. The Reds traded two former first rounders -- Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal -- to the Padres for Mat Latos before the 2012 season. Latos was a big help in getting Cincinnati to the postseason.
What type of package would it take to get Noah Syndergaard from the Mets? If you were Williams, would you make that trade?
-- @jonveith, on Twitter

Without knowing what the Mets are wanting or asking for to move Syndergaard, it's impossible to say if I would make that trade. I just know it would take a lot to entice the Mets. Syndergaard is under club control for the next three seasons.
Since it's September, is there anything that can be taken from Cody Reed's last two starts? Has he turned a corner?
-- @RogueSeventy1, on Twitter

As Riggleman has said a couple of times recently, teams have to be careful not to get too high or low on players during Spring Training and September. You have to look at the body of work during the meat of the season, and you need to trust scouts and talent evaluators in the Minors. However, Reed showed vast improvement his last several starts with Triple-A Louisville before he came back up. His confidence, which was often missing in previous years, is definitely there. Reed believes he belongs in the Major Leagues, and that's important. He's a 2019 rotation candidate, for sure, and he will need to back up what he's been doing lately.
Would the Reds consider trading Jesse Winker? And would there be any takers?
-- Ronald Harshman, on Facebook

I don't think dealing Winker makes much sense right now. He was really starting to take off in June and July before his season was cut short by right shoulder surgery. If Winker is healthy and hitting, he could be a big part of the Reds' lineup in 2019.
Will the Reds look to add more to their bullpen, like last offseason?
-- Luke Dorsey, on Facebook

Yes. With starters -- around the Majors -- rarely going deep in games anymore, having multiple relievers capable of working two or three (or more) innings and being repeatable will be critical. That would be especially true for Cincinnati if Michael Lorenzen moves into the rotation next year. Lorenzen, Jared Hughes and David Hernandez did a great job. Having one or two more dependable arms would enhance a bullpen that did a pretty good job this season under the circumstances.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.