Opening Day Countdown: Quintessential Red #36

Late night edition!

5. Rolando Roomes (0.5 WAR)

Roomes has a lot of good things going in his favor. Other than a really nice season in '89 where he played a lot of games in the outfield, he has a World Series ring, he has a cool name, and he's one of 4 players to play in the big leagues who was born in Jamaica. Trivia: Name the other three!

4. Edinson Volquez (4.3 WAR)

I'll admit, there's still a bitter aftertaste leftover from The Wagon's Reds tenure, but his 2008 season is still one of the better ones ever put up by a Reds pitcher. 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA, 206 strikeouts, and All-Star appearance, and a 4th place finish in the Rookie of the Year vote despite being well above the innings limit. As you know, he was traded for Mat Latos, who is the best. Moving on.

3. Clay Carroll (12.5 WAR)

Carroll was an elite reliever for the Reds from 19698 to 1975, including a number of years where was the Reds' closer. Carroll made 2 All-Star teams and won a WS ring in '75, and I'm not sure there was anyone more reliable during that era than Clay Carroll. The Reds brass got a little too overzealous and tried to trade him for prospects, who surprisingly enough, didn't pan out.

2. Ken Raffensberger (25.3 WAR)

Raffensberger joined the Reds in 1947, and pitched until the middle of the Redlegs era in 1954. He was known best as a workhorse starter, a lefty power pitcher to complement the righty power pitcher in Ewell Blackwell. He ended up with a 3.64 ERA in his Reds career, which is pretty astonishing considering he made 205 starts.

1. Mario Soto (26.9 WAR)

Mario Soto is a Red through and through, and for me is the most impressive arm on this list by far. He pitched for the Reds from 1977 to 1988, suffering as the best pitcher on some pretty rough Reds teams during that time. He made 3 All-Star teams, led the league in K/9 twice, and struck out over 200 batters 3 times in his career.

He's now in the Reds organization as a coach, teaching our farmhands that devastating change-up that made him so famous.


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