Bryan Price was the first name to surface on the rumor mill as to who would replace Dusty Baker as Reds manger. Baker was fired days after the Cincinnati Reds lost in the wild card round of the playoffs to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Price had been the Reds’ pitching coach since 2009, and he really turned the pitching staff around in Cincinnati, with his staff ranking third and fourth in ERA the past two seasons. He’s known as someone who the players respect and enjoy being around, and he can even speak spanish to communicate with the spanish speaking pitchers such as Aroldis Chapman and Johnny Cueto.
Baker was also known for his ability to get along with the players, and also sometimes was criticized for being more concerned with what his players thought of him than winning ball games. If Price is also a manager who gets along with his players well, then is he really a good fit?
I say yes. Price was the best option the Reds had to fill the shoes of Baker. He is someone who is familiar with this organization and is already aware of what the players on the ball club are capable of.
Baker often pulled pitchers out of games at questionable times, leaving them in for too long or taking them out too early and wearing down the bullpen. However, these problems can be easily avoided with Price, who as the former pitching coach will have a better understanding of how long a pitcher can last and can see the warning signs when it is time to pull them out.
The main problem surrounding this team is their offense, which seemed anemic at times and barely showed up down the stretch of the 2013 regular season and into the playoffs. Some people are wondering how a man who comes from a pitching background and has no managerial experience can come in and fix this offense, but he can not go out and hit for the players. It is on the players to fix their offensive woes themselves. MLB teams have hitting coaches separate of managers for a reason.
As I mentioned before, Price is a guy that a lot of the players he has coached have respect for. Bronson Arroyo, current Reds starting pitcher who has been coached by Price since he was hired in 2009, said Price is a great guy who will make an even greater manager. When asked about Price, Arroyo told USA Today that “He’s as organized as anyone in the game, he holds people as accountable as well as anyone I’ve seen. He doesn’t buy into stereotypical things in the game, things that other people buy into that I don’t feel are relevant. Price looks at evidence. He’s a freaking smart guy, he makes his decision on reasonable evidence. Sometimes in baseball we go by hunches, what someone else said or they way things have gone in the past. He doesn’t do that.”
Bryan Price will have success as the Reds manager because he has a strong baseball background, despite not having any managerial experience. He has a three years on his contract to prove to us that he deserved the title of 61st manager of the Cincinnati Reds.