Opening Day Countdown: Quintessential Red #57

These numbers in the high 50's are kind of funny. There seems to be a clear leader/winner every day we do this, but other than that guy, there's a whole lot of bleh. Oh well, here we go.

Honorable mention: Eddie Milner, Van Snider, Tim Costo, Rick Greene, Chris Nichting, John Bale, Jermaine Clark, Randy Keisler, Justin Germano, Brendan Harris, Victor Santos, Jeremy Horst

5. Roberto Petagine (0.5 WAR)

Fun fact: in the 7 seasons that Petagine played (in the span of 13 years), he was at his best value during his year with the Cincinnati Reds. As you may recall, that was 1998, where he hit .258/.405/.468 with 3 homers in 68 ABs. After that year, he went to Japan, where he was one of the best players in NBP for 6 years. 2010 was his last season in Japan.

4. Freddie Benavides (-0.2 WAR)

Benavides is probably best known now as a minor league coach for the Reds, but he wore #57 in his rookie year in 1991. He was basically a no-hit infielder in his playing days, and only spent 2 years with the Reds as a player before returning as a coach. Fact about Benavides: he was the Rockies selection from the Reds in the 1992 expansion draft. Trivia: can you name who the Marlins picked?

3. Mike Lincoln (-1.0 WAR)

With the one good season he put together, I was pretty surprised to see his WAR so low for his Reds tenure, but that's just how bad he was toward the end of it. He had a decent 4.48 ERA in his first year, but couldn't keep it under 7 in either 2009 or 2010, falling ill to many "injuries" in that time.

2. Juan Guzman (1.1 WAR)

It's easy to forget that one of the better pitchers from the 90's pitched for the Reds, but the Reds picked up Guzman in their bid to win the division in 1999 (trading future Oriole closer B.J. Ryan to get him, too). Guzman started 12 games for the Reds and was a huge addition, going 6-3 with a 3.03 ERA. He'd pitch in Tampa the following year, but the 1999 team may not have made it as far as they did if it wasn't for Juan Guzman.

1. John Smiley (8.2 WAR)

Once again, who else? Smiley pitched for the Reds from 1993 to 1997, going 48-48 with a respectable 4.16 ERA in 123 starts. He signed on with the Reds as a free agent after the 1992 season, and was actually traded at the trade deadline in '97 to the eventual AL champion Indians. Acquired in that trade? Danny Graves (and a bunch of others).

Another one that couldn't have gone any other way. Congrats, John. You're #57 in our hearts.


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