The Cincinnati Reds, who are off to their worst start through 18 games since 1931, fired manager Bryan Price and pitching coach Mack Jenkins on Thursday.
“At this time, we felt a change needed to happen in order to begin the process of getting this team back on the right track,” said President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Dick Williams in a statement. “We realize it is early in the season but feel it is important to be proactive. In addition to these staff changes, we will continue to examine all aspects of Baseball Operations to ensure we are doing everything we can to improve."
Bench coach Jim Riggleman will serve as interim manager. He has managed 12 seasons in the big leagues with the San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals. His career record is 662-824.
Pat Kelly was promoted from Triple-A Louisville to serve as interim bench coach. Double-A Pensacola pitching coach Danny Darwin will be the Reds’ pitching coach.
The Reds announced they “will conduct a thorough managerial search for a permanent replacement.”
The Reds fell to 3-15 on Wednesday with a loss in Milwaukee. They are off today and start a three-game series in St. Louis on Friday. They have the worst record in baseball. This is their worst record through 18 games since they were 2-16 in 1931.
This was Price’s fifth season as Reds manager. His final record was 279-387. The Reds never had a winning record in his tenure, finishing 76-86 in his first season and then 64-98 in 2015, 68-94 in 2016 and 68-94 in 2017.
Price, 55, replaced Dusty Baker after the Reds won the wild card in 2013. Price served as Reds pitching coach from 2010-13.
On Sunday at Great American Ball Park after the team fell to 2-12 with a loss to the Cardinals the previous day, Price expressed confidence the Reds would turn the season around.
“It’s not fun,” Price said. “It’s not comfortable. It always turns; it will turn. When you’re in it, you feel, ‘When is it going to turn?’ You get impatient. We’re all impatient and frustrated, but inevitably, it will turn.”
Last September, Price talked about his job prospects, knowing the Reds would have to improve if he wanted to remain manager.
“You should get what you earned,” he said. “Since I’ve been the manager here we haven’t been real competitive. That shouldn’t put me on sound footing as the manager. What should is that from 2017 to 2018 we make significant improvements or they’re going to have to look at the direction of the club. One thing we do is we play hard. I don’t feel like I’m getting questioned a ton about managerial decisions, bullpen usage, lineup issues, etc. The last thing I’m going to worry about is the contract, because All-Star break 2015, the baseball community had me out of here – but I’m still here, and that’s really a credit to our ownership and front office to understand what we’re doing and what’s ahead of us. You get what you earn here. Until we show signs of great improvement, I’m in exactly the position I should be in.”