CINCINNATI - At a press conference at 3:00 p.m. today in the field level interview room at Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati Reds President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Castellini and President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Walt Jocketty will introduce Bryan Price as the club's new field manager.
Price, 51, has agreed to a 3-year contract through the 2016 season to become the 61st field manager in club history and the 51st since 1900. He replaces Dusty Baker, who went 509-463 (.524) in Cincinnati the last 6 seasons.
"I have spent a lot of time with Bryan since the season ended, and I was convinced after the first meeting he is the right person to help us move this organization forward," Jocketty said. "We've all seen his work here with our pitching staff. He has proven himself to be an excellent communicator and leader and clearly is one of the most respected people not only in our clubhouse but in baseball in general."
Castellini said, "I am impressed with Bryan as a pitching coach, leader and person. We're very confident he'll take the helm as manager of the entire team and lead us in the right direction."
Since Price became pitching coach prior to the 2010 season, the Reds' staff has ranked seventh, 12th, third and fourth in team ERA after finishing 13th and 15th the previous 2 seasons. Over the last 2 years, the Reds' 187 wins and 3.36 ERA rank third in the Major Leagues.
Price's 2012 and 2013 staffs were 2 of the most successful in franchise history. In each of those seasons, Reds pitchers established club records for strikeouts while becoming the first staffs in Major League history to produce in consecutive seasons at least 6 pitchers with 100 strikeouts.
Last season, Reds pitchers led the National League in strikeouts, the 17 team shutouts were the most since 1973, and the starters’ ERA of 3.43 was the staff’s best since 1974.
In 2012, Reds relievers led the Major Leagues in ERA (2.65), saves (56) and opponents’ batting average (.219) while producing the second-highest strikeouts-per-9-innings ratio in baseball history (9.90). The starting staff that season became only the ninth in Major League history to include 5 pitchers who made at least 30 starts each. Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos and Mike Leake started 161 of the 162 Reds' games that season.
Enquirer: Reds to name Bryan Price new manager
Price next manager
I was looking back at our original list of candidates when Dusty Baker was fired (October 4):
Logical guy: Bryan Price
Organization/GM guy: Jim Riggleman
Next seat over guy: Chris Speier.
Don't forget about guy: David Bell
Bryan Price: +/-
*Plusses: Smart, well respected, great communicator, did wonders with Reds pitching staff.
*Minuses: Never been a manager on any level, isn't the fiery/attitude guy some wanted, was on the inside/part of a situation that needed a change.
Remember, as Bronson Arroyo told me, "Honestly, the manager doesn't make that big an impact. It's about talent. If you have it, you win, if you don't, you won't."
As I said the day Baker was fired, if you think firing the manager fixes this team, you have not been watching the same team I have.
I can't forget the conversation I had with Price during spring training and the Aroldis Chapman "experiment". Bryan told me the only way for Chapman to fully develop as a pitcher was to pitch, and pitch, to throw starter innings, not reliever innings.
Price check, please
Bryan Price BIO
ESPN: Bryan Price, the best pitching coach in majors (December 2012)
Fangraphs: Q/A with Bryan Price (April 2013)
Bryan interviewed for the Marlins managerial job last year.
Bryan is a very loyal guy. He resigned his job as Diamondbacks pitching coach after manager Bob Melvin was fired during the 2009 season.
How much say will Bryan Price have over his staff? You'd like to think he gets to pick his own staff, guys he knows and is comfortable with.
Who will be the bench coach? That will be a huge hire for a first time manager.
You would think it would be someone that has been a manager, someone that can be Price's right-hand man to bounce ideas off of and get input from.
What are Chris Speier's feelings about Dusty's firing? Did he want the managerial job?
Would Walt Jocketty pair Bryan with Jim Riggleman, a ML manager for 12 seasons?
As for hitting coach, you've got to think Brook Jacoby will be shown the door. Would current assistant hitting coach Ronnie Ortegon be promoted? Bio
Would Ted Power be promoted from Louisville to assume the role of pitching coach?
Would current assistant pitching coach Mack Jenkins be promoted to pitching coach? Bio
Jenkins (age 46) just completed his 24th year in the Reds organization. Prior to being named assistant pitching coach in 2012, he spent the previous six seasons as Reds Minor League pitching coordinator. He had also spent 16 seasons as pitching coach on various levels of the farm system, including Triple-A Louisville from 2002-05.
What about current bullpen coach Juan Lopez? He previously worked with manager Dusty Baker in both San Francisco and Chicago. There's also 1B coach Billy Hatcher, 3B Mark Berry and bullpen coach Mike Stefanski. Could there be a ML role (bullpen coach/catcher) for Corky Miller if he retires?
Sam LeCure joined me on Sports Talk the night of Dusty's firing.
I asked Sam about Bryan Price as a manager and Sam compared Bryan to Aroldis Chapman.
"We know what Aroldis is as a closer, we don't know what he is as a starter.
We know what Bryan Price is as a pitching coach, we don't know about him as a manager."
What Bronson Arroyo told me about Bryan Price on October 4.
I asked Bronson about Bryan as manager, "I can see it, with his work ethic and personality and the way he handles people. No problem. He doesn't beat around the bush. He's very accurate with his opinions."
Forgive me.....I had to
From Sports Talk August 20.....
We don't spend nearly enough time speaking in appreciation of Bryan Price and the job he continues to do with this staff. Since Opening Day 2012 the Reds ERA of 3.34 is 3rd in MLB, behind LA 3.30 and Atlanta 3.32. The staff is on pace for a franchise record K/9.
The WHIP would be best since 1919. The team ERA of 3.34 would be best since 1972.
He's helped Homer Bailey turn the corner.
He's helped shave the rough edges of Mat Latos.
He resurrected Manny Parra's career and will make him a lot of $$$ this offseason.
Parra from 2009-2012 with Brewers: 16-24 5.61 ERA, 1.72 WHIP in 131 games.
Parra's on pace for career best's in: ERA 3.21, K/9 11.8, BB/9 2.4, WHIP 1.27.
He's helped JJ Hoover's growth and development.
Hoover: 2.47 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 79 games, 83.2 IN, 90 K, 1.02 WHIP
He turned around the career of Alfredo Simon.
Simon 2008-2011 with Orioles: 8-12 5.18, 78 games, 184 innings, 1.47 WHIP, 10.1 H/9
Simon 2012-2013 with Reds: 8-5 2.82, 84 games, 124.2 innings, 1.24 WHIP, 8.4 H/9
From Sports Talk August 20.....
Pitchers/pitching coaches as managers
I wonder how much of an industry stigma exists for pitchers/pitching coaches becoming managers? How many in the game view pitchers as guys doing their own thing day to day, just working on the skill of throwing the ball, and in the case of starters, pitching just once every five games? There are only two current ML managers that were pitchers: John Farrell (Boston) and Bud Black (Giants).
Among the former managers that were pitchers/pitching coaches i can think of: Roger Craig (Giants), Larry Rothschild (Rays), Ray Miller (Orioles), Tommy Lasorda (Dodgers), Larry Dierker (Astros), Joe Kerrigan (Red Sox), Marcel Lachemann (Angels), Phil Regan (Orioles).
I think Greg Maddux could be a manager, so could Orel Hershiser. Dave Duncan and Leo Mazzone were two of the best pitching coaches ever, I wonder how much consideration they got for a managerial position?
Ever stop and consider the number of former catchers that became managers? Catchers are considered field generals, involved in handling pitchers, calling pitches, involved in pregame scouting reports, sitting behind the plate and viewing the entire field as the game unfolds.
There are 11 current ML managers that were catchers:
Bruce Bochy-Giants, Joe Girardi-Yankees, Mike Redmond-Marlins, Mike Matheney-Cards, Mike Scioscia-Angels, Fredi Gonzalez-Braves, John Gibbons-Jays, Bob Geren-A's, Eric Wedge-Mariners, Jim Leyland-Tigers, Joe Maddon-Rays, Ned Yost-Royals.
By my count, 5 of the last 11 World Series champions have been led a former catcher.