The Cincinnati Reds have lost 10 games in a row falling 3-1 to the Los Angeles Dodgers last night in Chavez Ravine. The Reds can take solace in that they won’t lose today. They’re not playing. Tomorrow night, however, they begin a three game series against the Brewers in Milwaukee.
The Reds are 15-32 and 17 games back of the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. They aren’t the worst team in the NL. That distinction belongs to the Atlanta Braves who are 12-33 as this writing (with the Minnesota Twins owning the worst overall record in MLB at 12-34). The Reds are better than the Braves, but not by much.
Like the Braves, the Reds were not expected to contend in 2016. After all, the team lost 98 games in 2015 dropping 14 of their final 15 regular season games. The Reds actually won five of their first six games this season, but the team has gone 10-31 since. On top of their 10 game skid, the Reds have lost 15 of their last 17 games.
While the Reds aren’t so terrible at Great American Ballpark with a 12-15 record, they are 3-17 outside of Cincinnati. Unfortunately, for the Reds their next 7 games are on the road in Milwaukee and Denver before returning home to face the Washington Nationals on June 3rd.
In the opposing dugout that night will be Dusty Baker, the man who managed the Reds between 2008 and 2013 guiding them to two NL Central titles in 2010 and 2012 and a NL Wild Card berth in 2013. However, the Reds abruptly fired Baker after the Reds were beaten in the NL Wild Card game by the Pittsburgh Pirates. I was puzzled by the decision then and am still puzzled by it now. Baker was succeeded by pitching coach Bryan Price. The Reds have gone 155-216 during Price’s tenure. I’m amazed he wasn’t fired after the 2015 season. I’m amazed he’s still their manager now. It’s fairly obvious the Reds aren’t going to get better under his stewardship. So what exactly does Price have to do to lose his job? Have a stroke?
Unlike the Braves, the Reds still have viable big league players like 2010 NL MVP Joey Votto, perennial All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips and outfielder Jay Bruce. Last year, they also had Johnny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman and Todd Frazier and yet managed to lose 98 games. The Braves are primarily stocked with younger players yet that wasn’t enough to save Fredi Gonzalez’s job. Shouldn’t Price pay the price for the Reds’ shortcomings?