Riggins gracious following dismissal from Reds

Riggins gracious following dismissal from Reds

CHICAGO -- There is no doubt that Mark Riggins felt disappointment about losing his job as Reds pitching coach on Monday morning. It will be something that will take a while to process for him and his family.

Riggins returned to Cincinnati on Monday afternoon and began the process of packing up to return to his home in Murray, Ky. When reached on Tuesday morning, Riggins did not express anger or take a shot at the organization that let him go halfway into his first season on manager Bryan Price's staff. Instead, Riggins was gracious.

"I wanted to thank the Reds for the opportunity to be their pitching coach," Riggins told MLB.com on Tuesday. "They gave me a lot of support in this role. I'm very appreciative for everything and just wanted to thank them for the opportunity."

Replaced by bullpen coach Mack Jenkins, the 59-year-old Riggins had been the organization's Minor League pitching coordinator for the past five seasons. He was brought to the Reds because he had a long relationship with president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty. Riggins was Jocketty's pitching coach for the Cardinals in 1995 and then spent the next 11 years as their Minor League pitching coordinator. He also held that job for the Cubs from 2008-10 and was their Major League pitching coach in 2011.

While this was a rebuilding season, there was optimism that things would click because Riggins was familiar with many of the young pitchers who were getting chances in the big leagues. But the staff struggled with the highest ERA in the Majors, along with the most home runs and walks allowed.

It culminated in Jocketty and Price letting Riggins go a few hours before the Reds played the Cubs on Monday. He declined to specify the details of his dismissal, nor to give his side -- choosing to move on.

Riggins will be offered a position to stay in the organization that could allow him to use his nearly 40 years of coaching experience with developing pitchers.

It remains to be seen if Riggins will accept Jocketty's offer.

"I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet," Riggins said. "I respect Walt a lot. I want to take some time to sort out what I want to do. I'm thankful I have a chance to do that."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.