Reds’ Garrett has been untouchable in bullpen

Reds reliever starts season with eight scoreless appearances

A 4-18 start by the Cincinnati Reds has overshadowed the job Amir Garrett has done as a relief pitcher.

A season after he posted a 7.39 ERA in 14 starts and two relief appearances, Garrett has delivered one of the best bullpen performances in baseball. He has made eight appearances without allowing a run. His ERA is 0.00 in 9 2/3 innings. He hasn’t walked a batter in his last seven games. He has stranded all four base-runners he has inherited.

“He’s very talented guy,” interim manager Jim Riggleman said on Monday. “I think he’s healthier now than he’s been in a while. He had some issues with his hip last year, and it kind of got his delivery out of whack. I think we would have seen this last year if he hadn’t had that setback. I think we’re just seeing the real guy now. This is who he is.”

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Garrett might get another chance as a starter at some point, though Riggleman said he has taken to the relief role and likes it.

“Back in the day, a lot of guys came to the big leagues and started in the bullpen,” Riggleman said. “Now we seem to groom bullpen guys in the minor leagues, but this could be a situation where he gets groomed here in the big leagues. … If he could eventually start, that would be a real plus for us, so hopefully the progress continues.”

First statement: Bryan Price released a statement on Monday, four days after he was fired 18 games into his fifth season as Cincinnati Reds manager. It was his first public comment since losing his job.

“It is with tremendous gratitude and appreciation for the 8+ years I spent as a member of the Cincinnati Reds organization that I bid adieu to so many wonderful friends and co-workers,” Price wrote. “I wish Jim Riggleman great success as he takes the reins of the club and send a heartfelt thank you to a cherished group of players, coaches, trainers and clubhouse family that stayed connected, worked tirelessly together and who collectively faced challenging times head on. Many of the best people I have known in my life are, or have been, members of the Reds family.

» MORE ON PRICE: Price sixth Reds manager to lose his job during a season in last 25 years

“I will continue pulling for the Reds from my home in Arizona and am sure to follow the career paths of each and every current and former Red in the years to follow. Thank you to the ownership group, led by Bob Castellini, for giving me the privilege of managing such a storied franchise and a special thanks to my dear friend Walt Jocketty, who brought me to Cincinnati back in the fall of 2009. My wife, Judy, and I are grateful for our years in Cincinnati and for the outpouring of friendship and support offered through our time in the Queen City. My best wishes to the Cincinnati Reds and everyone in Reds country.”

Next step: Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez began a rehab stint with the Triple-A Louisville Bats on Tuesday. He has been on the disabled list since April 9 with a broken thumb.

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