Cincinnati Reds: Jim Riggleman moving on shows the team is starting over

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Jim Riggleman, the interim manager of the Cincinnati Reds last season, was considered a possibility to be David Bell’s bench coach. Sources yesterday claim that Riggleman will not be part of the organization in any capacity going forward.

Cincinnati Reds beat writer, Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer, reported yesterday that Jim Riggleman will not return to the Reds organization in 2019. That should be welcome news to the large contingent of Reds fans that want to see the ballclub abandon the old ways and start fresh.

The Cincinnati Reds have long been viewed by a certain faction of fans as being too “homegrown” and afraid to look outside the organization. So, while the hiring of Cincinnati-native David Bell continued to fan those flames, moving on from Riggleman might silence those critics.

Jim Riggleman, who took over as interim manager after the Reds fired Bryan Price following a 3-15 start to the 2018 season, led the club to 64 wins. He was thought to be in contention for the permanent gig, but the Reds decided to go with the less-experienced Bell who’s ability to relate with today’s players and his exposure to analytics and sabermetrics with other organizations is expected to pay dividends for the Reds going forward.

After Bell was hired to be the 63rd manager in Cincinnati Reds’ history, there were whispers that Riggleman may join Bell’s staff. While not a bad idea given the experience in the dugout that Riggleman has, some fans worried that Riggleman’s perspective may clash with the skipper and cause some confusion among the players.

Worry no more Reds fans. Not only will Riggleman not be back in the Reds dugout next season as Bell’s bench coach, but he will not even be part of the Cincinnati Reds organization. This is not to throw shade at Riggleman or demean his ability as a coach, in fact, I expect him to land a job fairly quickly. But, the fact that the Reds basically said “thanks, but no thanks” to Riggleman shows the fan base that the Reds are starting fresh.

People critical of the Reds’ hiring David Bell claim that he was the easy choice and the Reds went the same route they always do. While Bell has ties to the Cincinnati area, the easy choice would’ve been to hire Jim Riggleman as the permanent manager before the season ended. The easy choice would’ve been to give the job to John Farrell, whom the Reds had on staff as a scout.

Allowing Riggleman to walk should be a clearcut sign to fans that the old way of doing things in the Reds organization is changing. We’ll know more about these changes once Bell puts his new coaching staff together.

Pat Kelly, the Reds interim bench coach under Riggleman, will not be part of Bell’s staff either but will remain with the organization. According to, Kelly will likely serve in the Reds’ minor league system.

Way too early 25-man roster for 2019. Next

Fans who’ve been critical of the “homegrown” nature of the Cincinnati Reds can relax as it finally appears that some big changes are coming with the new skipper, David Bell, at the helm. The next step for the Reds to prove that they’re ready to compete is fixing the pitching staff. Free agency is only a few days away. Stay tuned Reds Country.