(National League, North Division)
An original franchise, Cincinnati has been a longtime National League power, piling up ten pennants and two of their five titles as “The Big Red Machine” of Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Pete Rose.
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RANDY JONES SHUTS OUT CINCINNATI AS PADRES ROLL ON OPENING DAY Eternal Baseball Press SAN DIEGO – Randy Jones was in postseason form, even though baseball’s postseason is 161 games away. The San Diego ace was brilliant on Opening Day, throwing a five-hit shutout over...
CINCINNATI HOLDS OFF MIAMI’S LATE SURGE FOR 8-5 VICTORY Eternal Baseball MIAMI – The Reds went from no-hitter anticipation to summoning their closer in the span of two innings Monday night, but held off the Marlins’ late rally for an 8-5 win on the first day of Spring...
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Active 26 Man Roster
Catchers & Infielders:
- C – Johnny Bench (3B)
- C – Ernie Lombardi
- 1B – Joey Votto
- 2B – Joe Morgan
- SS – Barry Larkin
- 3B – Eugenio Suarez
- CI – Pete Rose (1B/3B/LF/RF)
- MI – Brandon Phillips (2B)
- 1B – Ted Kluszewski
- LF – Adam Dunn (1B)
- CF – Edd Roush
- RF – Frank Robinson (LF/CF/1B)
- OF – Eric Davis (LF/CF/RF)
- OF – George Foster (LF/CF/RF)
- SP – Bob Ewing
- SP – Noodles Hahn
- SP – Johnny Cueto
- SP – Tony Mullane
- SP – Eppa Rixey
- SP – Jim Maloney
- CL – Aroldis Chapman
- SU – Raisel Iglesias
- RP – Rob Dibble
- RP – Jose Rijo
- RP – Will White
- RP – Clay Carroll
On the Farm
Catchers & Infielders:
- 1B/3B – Tony Perez
- 2B – Bid McPhee
- C – Bubbles Hargrave
- CF – Vada Pinson
- CF – Gus Bell
- OF – Reggie Sanders
- P – Johnny Vander Meer
- P – Paul Derringer
- P – Gary Nolan
- P – Bucky Walters
- P – Pedro Borbon
- P – Norm Charlton
- P – Mario Soto
- P – Dolf Luque
Building the Roster: Cincinnati Reds
With every team, we started building their all-time 25-man and 40-man rosters by using the Hall of Fame as a starting point, figuring that a player enshrined in baseball’s immortal Hall would certainly qualify to make his team’s all-time roster.
Almost all the Hall of Fame members are easily identifiable with one team so it’s a simple way to start every roster with near-inarguable selections.
Notable players Cincinnati has to fight for are Frank Robinson, Joe Morgan and Tom Seaver:
Reds: 10 years, 6 All-Star Appearances, 1 MVP Award, 63.8 WAR, .303 AVG, 1043 Runs, 1009 RBI, 324 HR, 161 SB
Orioles: 6 years, 6 All-Star appearances, 1 MVP Award, 32.4 WAR, .300 AVG, 555 Runs, 545 RBI, 179 HR, 35 SB, 2 World Series Titles
Astros: 10 seasons, 2-time All-Star, 0 MVPs, 30.7 WAR, .261 AVG, 597 Runs, 327 RBI, 72 HR, 219 SB
Reds: 8 seasons, 8-time All-Star, 2 MVPs, 57.9 WAR, .288 AVG, 816 Runs, 612 RBI, 152 HR, 406 SB, + 2 World Series Titles
Mets: 12 seasons, 10-time All-Star, 3 Cy Youngs, 76 WAR, 2.57 ERA, 198 Wins, 171 CG, 2541 K, 2045 IP, 44 SHO + 1 World Series Title
Reds: 6 seasons, 2-time All-Star, 0 Cy Youngs, 18.4 WAR, 3.18 ERA, 75 Wins, 42 CG, 731 K 1085 IP, 12 SHO
These “fights” are actually knockouts. Robinson and Morgan absolutely belong in Cincinnati, and Seaver is certainly a Met. The only other one that’s close is Aroldis Chapman, who’s a Red for now, but may shift to being a Yankee in a couple seasons.
As with every team, we are trying to build an active roster with 13 position players and 12 pitchers, and then a 15-player inactive roster of guys who just missed the cut, but remain valuable as callups in case of slumps or injuries.
The 13 active position players are usually two catchers, six infielders, and five outfielders. The stats are built around the average of the player’s best three consecutive seasons.
One important thing to mention – Eternal Baseball is considering all players for inclusion on the all-time rosters, and that includes players on the ineligible list. Pete Rose is a polarizing player among many baseball fans, but for our purposes he is eligible for inclusion on Cincinnati’s roster.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame gives us a good start here. Cooperstown gives us Johnny Bench, Ernie Lombardi, Joe Morgan, Barry Larkin, Edd Roush, Frank Robinson, Eppa Rixey, Tony Perez, and Bid McPhee.
The Hall of Fame gives us 10 of our 40-man roster, and WAR (Wins Above Replacement), a great stat for looking at the all-around contribution to a team for both hitters and pitchers, can help us with the rest.
We get lots of help here, as in order we find: Pete Rose, Joey Votto, Bid McPhee, Vada Pinson, Heinie Groh, Dave Concepcion, George Foster, Lonny Frey, Eric Davis, Ted Kluszewski, Brandon Phillips, Frank McCormick, and Ken Griffey Sr.
We’ll need a third catcher so Ed Bailey is likely, and we considered the short but brilliant Reds careers of Reggie Sanders, Paul O’Neill, and Eugenio Suarez as well.
Once plugged into the simulation software, we looked at their OPS (on-base + slugging percentage) and their defensive rankings and they break down like this:
CATCHER: Johnny Bench, Ernie Lombardi
FIRST BASE: Joey Votto, Pete Rose (sometimes)
SECOND BASE: Joe Morgan, Brandon Phillips (sometimes)
SHORTSTOP: Barry Larkin, Brandon Phillips (sometimes)
THIRD BASE: Eugenio Suarez, Pete Rose (sometimes)
LEFT FIELD: Adam Dunn, Pete Rose (sometimes)
CENTER FIELD: Edd Roush, Eric Davis
RIGHT FIELD: Frank Robinson, George Foster
Hard to believe that the “Hit King” isn’t going to start for the Reds, but his defensive versatility should provide plenty of at-bats over the season. That leaves inactive roster options Ted Kluszewski, Tony Perez, Bid McPhee, Bubbles Hargrave, Vada Pinson, Gus Bell, and Reggie Sanders.
For the pitching staff we’re looking for six starters and six relievers. Bear in mind that across the whole game you will see dynamic, outstanding starting pitchers that can’t crack an all-time rotation but are better served as relievers on a team than sitting inactive.
Hall of Famers automatically belong, so Eppa Rixey is already in. With the 22 players on the total roster we have room for 18 more pitchers.
Once we dug into the career WAR rankings (as Reds) we came up with these names: Noodles Hahn, Dolf Luque, Bucky Walters, Frank Dwyer, Jose Rijo, Tony Mullane, Jim Maloney, Paul Derringer, Will White, Bob Ewing, Billy Rhines, Joe Nuxhall, Mario Soto.
We also considered outstanding relievers Raisel Iglesias, Aroldis Chapman, Rob Dibble, Norm Charlton, Clay Carroll and Danny Graves.
We looked at their overall numbers in the simulation software and leaned heavily on ERA to come up with these designations:
STARTING ROTATION: Bob Ewing, Noodles Hahn, Tony Mullane, Eppa Rixey, Jim Maloney, Jose Rijo
RELIEVERS: Gary Nolan, Will White, Clay Carroll, Rob Dibble
SET-UP: Raisel Iglesias
CLOSER: Aroldis Chapman
Not sure any opponent wants to see Dibble-Iglesias-Chapman out of Cincy ‘pen. The inactive pitcher options are Johnny Vander Meer, Paul Derringer (who was 6’3), Norm Charlton, Bucky Walters, Joe Nuxhall, Pedro Borbon, Dolf Luque and Mario Soto.
So how did we do?
Is Pete Rose on the bench reasonable?
Would you use Dibble over Iglesias to set-up for Chapman?
Can Brandon Phillips really hold two different Hall of Fame infielders off the main roster?
What batting order would you suggest versus lefties and righties?
Let us know in the forums below and if you make a compelling case we will adapt it in-game. We want every squad to be the best they possibly can be and appreciate your help fine-tuning the Reds for Eternal Baseball.
Visit Our Cincinnati Reds Discussion Board
Give your 2 cents on the composition of the roster!