BRM Roundtable: Should the Cincinnati Reds retain Jim Riggleman in 2019?

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 12: Jim Riggleman the manager of the Cincinnati Reds watches the action against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Great American Ball Park on September 12, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 12: Jim Riggleman the manager of the Cincinnati Reds watches the action against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Great American Ball Park on September 12, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The writing team at Blog Red Machine shared their thoughts on whether or not the Cincinnati Reds should retain Jim Riggleman as the manager in 2019.

One of the biggest, if not the biggest questions for the Cincinnati Reds heading into the offseason will be whether or not to retain interim manager Jim Riggleman for the 2019 season. The writing team at Blog Red Machine sat down recently to give their thoughts.

Brad Griffith

I think Jim Riggleman will return as the manager next season. Considering how the team responded when he took over, and the ability to have him cheaper than a veteran manager is optimistic for the team.

With the offensive talent and different pitchers starting to develop, the Cincinnati Reds are a few established starting pitchers away from competing. The president of baseball operations, Dick Williams has made it known that the focus of the offseason is starting pitching. Keeping Riggleman who has been familiar with the system, the team can pursue multiple options that they may not be able to with a more expensive manager on the payroll.

Should Riggleman get the permanent gig? Not my choice, but I think he’ll get it.

Allie Kaylor

Even completely ignoring this season, Jim Riggleman does not have the track record of being a good manager. In 1,624 games, he is 725-900 (.446). He’s only had 2 winning seasons in his 13 seasons as a manager (he resigned as the Washington Nationals manager after a 38-37 start).

Read. Lorenzen may have to help himself

Something that stands out to me is his season as the Chicago Cubs manager in 1998. The Cubs went from 68-94 in 1997 (the Reds’ record in 2016 and 2017) to 90-73. They finished second in the division and beat the San Francisco Giants in a one-game tiebreaker to win the NL Wildcard.

They were promptly swept by the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series. The next season, Riggleman’s Cubs went 67-95, the second-worst record in the NL.

That should be concerning to anyone that hopes the Reds will contend in the near future. The Chicago Cubs had no major changes in players or front office staff that offseason. He just couldn’t bring the team to repeat their 90-win season.

Even if you think he was good this season, Jim Riggleman doesn’t have the track record of a winning manager. Among managers with 1,500 games under their belt, he has the worst winning percentage in the modern era. A team like the Reds that want to contend should look for a manager with proven success, not the opposite.

Should Riggleman get the permanent gig? Uh, no!

Jared Roberts

Jim Riggleman has no business managing the Cincinnati Reds and should’ve never been given the interim job. Riggleman is not a good strategist in any way, shape, or form.

Riggleman’s biggest problem is that he has zero anticipation for when his starting pitcher is losing momentum. He waits until it’s too late before replacing the starter. In other games, I’ve seen him pull a starter too early after seeing a simple single surrendered.

Riggleman has only 1 winning season in 13 years as a manager and that was 20 years ago with the 1998 Chicago Cubs. In my opinion, that season was more about Sammy Sosa’s historic season rather than Riggleman’s managing.

When he got to one game over .500 (38-37) for the Washington Nationals, he quit on his team. He was trying to maneuver and hold the Nats’ front office hostage over a contract extension. If it weren’t for Walt Jocketty, Riggleman would not even be in baseball right now.

The next manager for the Cincinnati Reds should be Doug Mientkiewicz. Mientkiewicz is currently the manager for the Toledo Mud Hens, the Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. He’s a Lou Piniella type of manager – fiery but commands the respect of his players.

Should Riggleman get the permanent gig? No way!

Drew Koch

I’m going to throw all the stats and records out the window when it comes to this situation, which is very unlike me to do. But, when it comes to the idea of Jim Riggleman getting the permanent spot as manager for the Cincinnati Reds, I’m just not in favor of it.

When the Reds fired Bryan Price, it was the right move. When they promoted Jim Riggleman, it was also the right move. Riggleman had managerial experience and was the best man for the job at the time. Now, having seen the way the team responded down the stretch, I really have concerns about Riggleman being “the guy” for this Reds ballclub.

I like Riggleman’s old-school approach. While not popular with a lot of fans, I like the sacrifice bunt. That being said, I haven’t seen enough hit-and-runs, and while the new trend in baseball is to only allow starting pitchers to go into the fourth and fifth innings, I’ve hated seeing young pitchers pulled before being able to work out of a jam.

I think the Reds have a unique opportunity given the roster they have. Cincinnati has a young core of offensive firepower and young, talented arms. The bullpen is solid and the Reds appear to be a couple good starters away from being competitive. They could be a premier destination for top-level managerial candidates. Riggleman is not a top-level candidate.

What can the Reds do to end on a high note?. Next

While I’ll think it’s likely to see Riggleman get the permanent position, I’m not on board with it. There are several other candidates that I think would be better options for this team.

Should Riggleman get the permanent gig? No, I don’t think so.