The Reds made their decision official today, making pitching coach Bryan Price the 61st manager in club history. Press conferences generally don't lead to a ton of insightful comments, and even Price himself said that he only learned that he'd be getting the gig just a few days ago. We can, however take some quotes from Price and Jocketty and make wild speculations, because this is the internet.
Bryan Price: "I've had a chance to watch a lot of good managers. We have to use statistical analysis to understand parts of the game, but you have to understand what kind of talent the team has."
This is the one thing that most of us here were hoping would be said. Bronson Arroyo hinted that Price would use his head more than his gut, but after the Dusty Baker era, it's a very welcome thing to hear. Price name checked Dusty, Lou Pinella and Joe Maddon as managers he's worked with and learned from. I hadn't realized he worked with Maddon before today but that got me excited. We obviously won't know exactly what Price will do with things like platoons, defensive shifts or lineup construction, but the fact that he understands the importance of statistical analysis and is willing to implement it in his decisions is a big change from Dusty's old school approach.
Bryan Price: "I've never enjoyed the match up game if you have the type of pitchers that can get left handed and right handed hitters out."
This is another fantastic quote, and a departure from the Dusty philosophy of bullpen management, and hopefully it means Sean Marshall won't be the league's most well compensated LOOGY. I'm not sure whether this mindset will carry over to the offense, but it sounds as if we may be seeing less knifey-spooney lineups next season.
Price on Chapman: "We will make that decision as we go forward." "We are going put the best team on the field an put players in a position to succeed."
Price was obviously very non-committal on this issue. With it being so early in the offseason, the #LetHimStart campaign can't begin in earnest until the Arroyo situation is resolved. At this point it's going to be a major risk for the Reds to attempt to move Chapman to the rotation in a year when they are still trying to compete for a division crown. There are creative ways to limit his innings, and with Dusty gone, creativity is actually a possibility, but I don't see how he could throw much more than 120-130 innings in 2014 after only tossing 63 this year. Price did say he believes that pitchers are more effective the more innings they throw, so at the very least we won't see Aroldis Chapman's face on a milk carton next year.
Jocketty: "Once we had the interview with Bryan, we saw no reason to go forward (with other candidates)."
In my opinion, Bob and Walt had this plan in place since the hiring of Mack Jenkins. It makes me feel better to know that Jim Riggleman didn't get an actual interview.
Price on Coaching Staff: "It's all in the works."
No announcements have been made yet as far as the rest of his staff is concerned. I would imagine, and the beat writers tend to agree, that Mack Jenkins will probably move up to pitching coach. I would be surprised to see Chris Speier remain as the bench coach, but I'm going to go ahead and trust Price and Jocketty on this and accept whatever decisions are made.
Jocketty: "We've got a lot of work to do."
No kidding. This offseason might be the most important, and most difficult, of Jocketty's tenure with the Reds. There are a handful of important decisions to be made this winter with Brandon Phillips, Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey, and Shin-Soo Choo all having cloudy futures with the organization. It's going to be interesting, for sure. Let the rosterbating begin!