David Bell’s approach won a multi-year contract extension


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David Bell has his fair share of detractors, and heaven knows not all of the decisions the Cincinnati Reds skipper made in 2021 turned into gold, but there’s no denying that he’s playing to win. Bell’s decisions paid off en masse last night, and his approach this season should see the Reds manager extend his contract for several years.

Last night we saw Bell’s strategic approach in full screen. Bell made the unpopular decision to remove Wade Miley from the game before the southpaw could close the fifth inning. Miley did not appreciate this and made her displeasure known as he returned to the canoe.

Bell’s decision paid off, however, as Shogo Akiyama (who entered the game as part of a double change) made a sliding catch late in the inning to preserve the tie. Bell also made the decision to remove Mike Moustakas from the circle on the bridge with left-hander Steven Okert warming up in the Marlins’ box.

Instead, Bell turned to right-hander Tyler Stephenson who scored two runs with two runs Tyler Naquin and Joey Votto and opened a 5-2 lead for the Reds. Bell also went to Michael Lorenzen for the five-out stoppage after the normally reliable Mychal Givens struggled in the eighth inning.

Reds manager David Bell got a multi-year contract extension.

Few managers in all of baseball have handled the rigors of the 2021 season better than David Bell. Without Gabe Kapler’s efforts in San Francisco, the Cincinnati skipper would likely win the NL Manager of the Year honors.

Still, there’s no denying what Bell has been up to this season. The third-year manager has faced countless different challenges this season, including the loss of Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer and his top two relievers (Archie Bradley and Raisel Iglesias).

Bell’s reliever pen was among the worst in baseball until the team’s front office realized the team wasn’t going to fold up like a cheap tent. Ahead of the trade deadline, Cincinnati added Givens, Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson to the NL relievers final box. The Reds’ relief corps still ranks 14th in the NL ERA (5.20), however, over the past month the pen’s ERA is only 4.00.

Reds manager David Bell has suffered a myriad of injuries this season.

If running one of the worst relieving pens in the league and keeping a shot at making the playoffs isn’t impressive enough, let’s look at the insane number of key player injuries that Reds manager David Bell has had to deal with this. season.

Joey Votto, who is currently in the MVP NL conversation, missed a month of action with a broken hand. Mike Moustakas, who was supposed to be the team’s daily third baseman, has just returned from IL after being taken out of action since mid-May.

Opening day center Nick Senzel hasn’t played since mid-May either, and it’s highly unlikely that we will see the former first-round pick return to the major league diamond this season. . Aristides Aquino, seen as a key contributor off the bench, missed more than two months with a broken hama bone.

Outfielder Nick Castellanos, second in the league at batting average, missed three weeks with a microfracture to his wrist. Castellanos running mate and All-Star colleague Jesse Winker is currently on IL and there is no schedule for his return.

And these are just the positional players. Starters Wade Miley and Sonny Gray have both found their way to the IL this season (Gray has actually been on the injured list three times). Other pitchers Lucas Sims and Tejay Antone, both of whom were key to the lack of success the Cincinnati Relief Corps had in 2021, have missed a lot of time this season.

Two of David Bell’s biggest stars also fell short of expectations.

Not only did David Bell have to navigate a less than optimal bullpen (due to cost reductions from the front office and ownership) and a plethora of injuries to some of his key performers, but two of the Cincinnati’s biggest stars are well below expectations.

Luis Castillo, who has recovered from his struggles at the start of the season, started the season 1-8 in his first 11 starts and had a 7.22 ERA while still allowing batters to hit .321 on him. Castillo has been playing much better lately, going 6-4 in his last 15 games and a 2.73 ERA while hitting 97 batters.

The same turnaround didn’t happen for Eugenio Suarez, whose goal was to score 50 home runs this season. While Geno’s power hasn’t gone anywhere he has completed 23 home runs this season, the slugger only hits 0.171 / 0.257 / 0.371 with a 58 OPS + and -2.8 WAR.

David Bell has a squad option on his current contract, and the Cincinnati Reds would be foolish not to take it back after the season (or before the 2021 campaign ends). But, the most prudent decision would be to lock up Bell and his coaching staff for the foreseeable future.

After learning the ropes during his rookie season in 2019, the Reds manager has faced all kinds of trials during the pandemic shortened 2020 season. It looks like we’re finally seeing David Bell understand this management, and he should be rewarded with a long-term contract extension.

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