What’s next for Cincinnati Reds pitcher Raisel Iglesias?

ST LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 20: Raisel Iglesias #26 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after balking in the game-tying run. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 20: Raisel Iglesias #26 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after balking in the game-tying run. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

Does Reds closer Raisel Iglesias recover from last night’s implosion?

Last night was a game the Cincinnati Reds needed, and yet, a comedy of errors ruined their chances in the ninth inning. Raisel Iglesias hit the first batter he faced, then followed that up by walking Tyler O’Neill and allowed a single to Dexter Fowler. A ball up the middle that deflected off Iglesias’ glove scored a run, then an erroneous balk call brought in the tying run.

Eventually Iglesias struck out Dylan Carlson. He was then replaced by Nate Jones who gave up the game-winning run when Kolten Wong hit a single into center field to bring home Fowler and the Cardinals celebrated a walk-off win. I’m almost at a loss as I don’t know where David Bell turns next. If Iglesias can’t be counted on with a two-run lead, what’s next for the Cincinnati closer?

In terms of the role of closer, the Reds have plenty of options. Coming into the season, many fans would have argued for Michael Lorenzen. However, the Zen Master has struggled out of the gate and has an ERA of 10.38. I don’t think anyone in Reds Country wants Lorenzen anywhere near thee ninth inning right now.

Some fans would argue for Amir Garrett, but he’s the team’s best left-headed option out of thee bullpen. If the opposing team’s lineup was left-handed heavy entering the ninth inning, sure. But, I think Garrett offers much more value to David Bell as a situational pitcher with the roster as currently constructed.

The obvious choice right now is Lucas Sims. There hasn’t been a better pitcher out of the Cincinnati bullpen this season. Sims is 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA through 10 games. The right-hander has 16 punch outs in 11 innings of work and seems poised for the big moment. If you’re looking for a new closer, Sims is your guy.

But that still begs the question; what do you do with Raisel Iglesias? Before you say to release him, he’s owed too much money to do that. Iggy’s adjusted salary for this season is $3.3M, and according to Spotrac.com, the right-hander is still owed $9.125M next season.

It’s also not as if Iglesias has been unbearably awful this season. Heading into last night’s game, Iglesias had pitched in four straight games and not allowed a hit while striking out eight batters over 4.2 innings. That’s the version of Iggy that fans want to see, but it’s hard to know which version of Iglesias you’re going to get.

Could the Cincinnati Reds swing a trade at the deadline for Iglesias? Perhaps, but no team is going to take on his full contract without wanting a key prospect to go along with him. If getting rid of Iglesias meant sending a top prospects along with him, would you do it? the bigger question is, would the Reds front office do that?

David Bell doesn’t have many options when it comes to Raisel Iglesias. It would appear as though he may have to ride with Iggy until the wheels completely come off. He’s already underperformed as the team’s closer and in non-save situations as well.

Does Bell bring Iglesias in during the sixth or seventh inning in order to restore his confidence? Would the Reds dare option Iglesias to the alternate site? The right-hander has one minor-league option remaining.

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Raisel Iglesias hasn’t been the same pitcher for the past year-plus. Is it time to move on? A lot of fans might say yes, while others would disagree. After a team record 12 losses we’re hung on Iggy last season, it seems as though his time in Cincinnati may not be for much longer.