The Reds fired Bryan Price on Thursday after their 3-15 start, the first managerial change in the major leagues this season.
Price was in his fifth season leading the rebuilding team, which has relied on rookies more than any other team in the majors during his tenure. The Reds have lost at least 94 games in each of the last three seasons while finishing last in the NL Central.
Bench coach Jim Riggleman will manage the team on an interim basis. The move came during an off-day in St. Louis. The Reds are coming off back-to-back shutout losses in Milwaukee, the first time they were blanked in consecutive games since 2015.
Price was given the job of leading the Reds during a massive overhaul. They were 279-387 under Price, who got the job when Dusty Baker was fired after the 2013 season for failing to get beyond the first round of the playoffs.
The Reds suffered significant injuries during spring training and got off to their worst start since the Great Depression while drawing small crowds at Great American Ball Park. Top starter Anthony DeSclafani is sidelined indefinitely with a strained oblique — he missed all last season with an elbow injury — and left-hander Brandon Finnegan has been limited to one start by a biceps injury.
The offense also has taken significant hits. Third baseman Eugenio Suarez got a $66 million, seven-year contract during spring training — Cincinnati’s first significant deal during its rebuild — but he broke his right thumb when he was hit by a pitch and is sidelined indefinitely. Right fielder Scott Schebler also is out with a bruised elbow.
The Reds won the division twice during Baker’s six-year tenure and went to the playoffs three times, but couldn’t get beyond the first round. Baker was fired after they lost the wild card game to Pittsburgh in 2013, and Price was promoted from pitching coach.
The Reds lost 86 games in Price’s first season, and the organization decided to begin a massive rebuild that involved trading every star player except Joey Votto and Homer Bailey. They’ve brought up rookie pitchers before they were ready to fill in while DeSclafani, Finnegan and Bailey were hurt.
Thirty-two Reds players have made their major league debuts in the last three seasons, the most in the majors. In the last four seasons, they’ve had a rookie start 254 of 504 games. Rookies made a club-record 110 starts in 2015, when the Reds lost 98 games.
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