Bullpen roles in flux

As I wrote on Tuesday during the off day, the bridge from starting pitcher to closer was rickety in the eighth inning when Kevin Gregg debuted with a rough outing that included the game-tying two-run homer by Andrew McCutchen.

On Wednesday, manager Bryan Price was asked if Gregg would be his guy again in the eighth going forward.

“He may be. He may not be,” Price replied. “It just depends on who I have healthy and who is down there. He’s a guy who is experienced as a closer, a setup man and a starter. He’s a guy who has been a lot tighter situations than that over the course of his career. As I’ve told you, the bullpen will be ever evolving. These guys will cut out their roles based on how they perform.”

The bullpen is a high scrutiny area after last season’s struggles and second-highest ERA in the NL (4.11). Price didn’t have a backup option warming up to start the eighth on Monday.

“Once the eighth inning becomes a situational inning, it becomes a challenge,” Price said. “We went into that game anticipating him pitching the eighth inning. It didn’t go as well as we had anticipated. The eighth inning isn’t really a matchup inning. We really had hoped that it would be a clean inning and it wasn’t, so I had to make some adjustments there.”

When asked about Jumbo Diaz and Tony Cingrani, Price noted both could be in the late-inning mix.

On Diaz:

“Yeah, came in and got the strikeout, and that was big. He’s another guy that doesn’t have the major league experience that Kevin has. He certainly has the power arm and I think he may be a guy that’s comfortable in some of those late inning situations.”

On what Cingrani can do:

“Any number of things. He’s stretched out and has a history as a starter, so he could throw some middle length innings and he could come in and be a left-handed guy out of the bullpen later in the game. He’s a guy who hasn’t historically gotten hit a lot. Last year we didn’t get anything out of it, because it was a tough year for Tony, he never had the same stuff he had in Opening Day. He spent a good portion of the year on the DL, and I don’t want to say it was a wasted year, but it was a year without a great deal of growth and I think pitching out of the bullpen plays to his natural aggressiveness. Again, if he throws well, he could find himself in a lot of those late-game opportunities.”

10 Comments

:Price and his ability to be wishy washy will lead to his own demise. Anyone who saw the eigth inning knew Gregg against McCutchen was not a good match up. Stupid as a matter of fact.
Some managers have the knowledge, the will, and how to win. Price is clueless and its unfortunate. Should have double switched too and had Negron lead off the 8th.
Why does it seem Price gets a free pass on his own shortcomings. Dusty would have been buried with that move. Marty should put the screws to him.

Planning on (and admitting to that) pitching the 8th before the game even started is the scariest thing of all. That’s where our managers head is. He thinks Gregg is a better option than Diaz in the 8th because hes been in those situations before. Knock that crap off and just watch the guys pitch. A 5 year old can see Diaz is a million times better, let alone the guy we cut for him (Lecure) is even better.

What is Price thinking ? Diaz had experience last year . Maybe Gregg was good at one point in his career but he’s washed up . Hell , LeCure has experience and he got cut . Experience doesn’t mean everything .This management team is absolutely clueless on what it’s doing and where
it wants to go or how to get there . Wishing washie is a great way to describe Price and the entire management team .

Price’s comments scare me. A 2-0 game and he has one pitcher come in without a backup warming up in case. Then this crap about what Gregg has done in the past when he is on a downhill trend. Experience doesn’t mean squat if you no longer can produce. Cs out in his spring training appearences and he sits. Price just plain scares me. Glad we have Riggleman in the wings.

Greggs inning was flies out against center field fence, line shot single to left,, miraculous catch by Byrd, and Mccutcheon home run. Those were Latos type numbers for his debut. Will Riggleman time before u know it if Price don’t getter smarter.

how about giving Jumbo or cingrani or any one of the other young pitchers playing time in those situations? how else are they going to get the experience you and jocketty talk about without it? you had all spring training to watch gregg and badenhop and the experienced guys do the job and they were terrible! you had the experienced guy come in Mon. and he was terrible! give Jumbo the chance! and more than 1 for god’s sake or we will never know and he won’t get the experience! the veterans jocketty keeps signing are veterans because they got the chance to play! what is so hard to figure out how that works? they are available because they are experience veterans who suck! if they were any good they would not be available for the reds to sign!

Nice to see Gregg stay in the bullpen last night. Price you used his relievers correctly last night.

Game 3 lineup:

Hamilton
Votto
Frazier
Meso
Bruce
Byrd
Phillips
Cozart
Desclafini

Surprised to not see at least one sub made today. I LIKE IT! Price sticking to his guns so far.

BP after 3 games….
10.3 IP
7 H
3 ER
2.62 ERA

Nice reversal…the BP was 1-17 in the second half last season.
They are 3-0 after three games this season (Diaz, Hoover, Chapman).

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