The Cincinnati Reds bullpen, in particular Raisel Iglesias, have created cause for concern as sure wins have slipped away during recent contests.
Admittedly this weekend has been a roller coaster ride of emotions that would make any Cincinnati Reds fan question their loyalty to this team. Twice, the Reds jumped out to big leads, only to have the normally reliable bullpen collapse. There is a lot of proven talent in the bullpen and it’s fair to ask if Raisel Iglesias should continue in that role for this year’s team.
I am hearing The Who sing, “Won’t be fooled again”, each time the Cincinnati Reds have jumped out to an early lead. Friday night’s extra inning loss to the San Francisco Giants, never should have happened. Wandy Peralta, who’d been solid this season, and the ever-reliable Jared Hughes were roughed up prior to a save situation getting away from Raisel Iglesias.
Going back to the three-game sweep in Los Angeles, it was Iglesias giving up the walk-off home run as the Dodgers won 4-3. There was also a game earlier this season in Pittsburgh as the Pirates stole an extra inning win from the Reds 6-5, in which Iglesias was the victim of a walk-off double.
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Sunday’s 6-5 loss to the San Francisco Giants, in which Raisel Iglesias was summoned with one out in the ninth to replace what appeared to be another dominant performance by Amir Garrett, leaves a frustrated and bewildered sentiment throughout Reds Country.
By no means do I want this to become an ‘anti-Raisel Iglesias’ rant, but make no mistake about it, Iggy has become inconsistent. When IgIglesias is on his game, he is tremendous as his 25 strikeouts in 16 innings suggest. However, his last three appearances have equated to four earned runs, two losses, and a blown save.
Something is not quite right with Raisel Iglesias this season and this goes all the way back to Spring Training. During the Cincinnati Reds last Sunday game in Goodyear, he gave up a couple of runs in a 4-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies. Iglesias had a few other rough outings in Arizona. Sometimes Spring Training does matter.
For the 2019 regular season, his 3.94 ERA is nearly a run higher than his career-ERA of 3.01. Too many opportunities to be a .500 or better ball team are slipping by, yet based on postgame comments from Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell, Iglesias will continue to be put into high leverage situations.
On Sunday, our very own Scott Boykin wrote about how Amir Garrett is being underutilized. Garrett has been nothing but spectacular this year, and has that bulldog mentality to be a closer. Garrett has made 17 appearances this season, but has only officially been credited with 13.1 innings, while striking out 16.
With the highly effective arms of Amir Garrett and David Hernandez both in the pen, should a 2019 version of The Nasty Boys be more of a nightly option instead of automatically resorting to Iglesias in the ninth? Some fans haver suggested the Reds sign Craig Kimbrel; that seems a little extreme.
David Bell and pitching coach Derek Johnson certainly know their staff better than anybody. While I am hopeful that these early season issues with Raisel Iglesias will be behind him and the team soon, there still seems to be a lack of consistency that creates doubts.
Perhaps some of the reason why Iglesias is struggling is over exposure? There are phenomenal athletes at this level of baseball. It does not take much, especially with advance scouting, to pick up on tendencies of both pitchers and hitters.
In spite of the curse of the San Francisco Giants in Great American Ballpark continues, as Thom Brennaman reminded us more than once this weekend, all is not loss on this young season. The bats are finally coming around, the starting pitching has been better than we could have hoped for, and the prodigy Nick Senzel is now on the team. Now we need to see the bullpen to get on track.
I am more than willing to eat crow if Raisel Iglesias can become that consistent closer that we have all grown accustomed to seeing. To put it bluntly, I want to eat that crow as I am an Iggy fan. I think I speak for all of Reds Country when I say that it is long overdue to be playing winning baseball.