While Raisel Iglesias has been the Cincinnati Reds primary closer for the past three years, it may be time to reexamine who takes the ball in the ninth inning.
Though Raisel Iglesias has been the Cincinnati Reds go-to guy in the back end of the bullpen for the last three seasons, there is reason to think that the make go in a different direction next season. The Reds have a few internal options if they wish to pursue that route.
In 2019, the Reds have given the majority of the save opportunities to Iglesias. While Iggy has 11 losses on the season, and now holds the team record for most losses in Reds history for a relief pitcher, he’s been successful in 29 of his 34 save attempts. Iglesias’ five blown saves this season is just one higher than he had in 2018.
If you’re looking at internal candidates to replace Iglesias, few pitchers make more sense than Michael Lorenzen. Mikey Biceps has picked up six saves in 10 opportunities this season, and he has more outings of one-plus innings than any other reliever on the Reds this year.
Other than Lorenzen, the Reds have an every bit as dominant arm from the left side in Amir Garrett. Garrett has one of the best sliders in baseball and his K/9 is up at a career-high 12.57 this season. Now that is dominance out of the bullpen if I have ever seen it.
Furthermore, a closer is supposed to be intimidating. What is more intimidating than the threat of Garrett charging at your dugout and throwing a mean left hook? If you’re curious, ask the Pittsburgh Pirates Trevor Williams.
David Bell and pitching coach Derek Johnson will have a big decision to make before the end of Spring Training 2020. These three candidates for the job have all had their ups and downs this season, but dominance is key when choosing a closer.
Next year the Cincinnati Reds are looking to make a big step in the right direction and having a consistent closer is a huge part of that. The Reds have three solid candidates from within and may even look outside the organization next season to find the right fit.