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A look at former Cincinnati Reds players chasing playoff spots

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They're winning while the current Reds are not.

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

At 9-138(ish), it's a foregone conclusion that the Cincinnati Reds aren't going to play a part in the 2015 MLB Playoffs.  However, there are a pile of familiar faces on other teams on the cusp of reaching the playoffs, so I thought it'd be neat to check in on them for sentimental purposes.

So, let's do that.

Los Angeles Dodgers (84-61, lead NL West by 7.5 games)

The Dodgers have effectively put the kibosh on the San Francisco Giants at this stage of the season, and it looks as if they'll ride their dominant front of the rotation and third-of-a-billion-dollar roster back to the playoffs with high hopes once again.

They'll also be doing so with a bevy of former Cincinnati Reds and Reds farmhands.

Justin Turner is chief among them, as the utility man turned #3/4 hitter has put up his second consecutive stellar season.  The Reds 7th round pick in the 2006 draft has been worth 3.4 fWAR so far (despite battling some minor injuries), and has hit .289/.364/.486 with 15 dingers while spending some time at all four infield positions.  Catcher Yasmani Grandal has been fighting through a shoulder issue that cooled off his hot start to the year, but the Reds 2010 1st round pick has posted a .252/.365/.426 line in 390 PA, good enough for a 120 OPS+ and 2.4 fWAR.

Mat Latos was also picked up by Los Angeles mid-year, though he's struggled to a 6.66 ERA and 1.52 WHIP in his 24.1 innings since joining the team.  He may make the playoff roster, but it looks like it'd be in a relief role, at best.

Speaking of the playoffs, both Chris Heisey and Ronald Torreyes have received sparse playing time as members of the 40-man roster post expansion, though it would be a long shot if either made the playoff roster at this point.  Heisey you know, and Torreyes was the youngest member of the group shipped to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Sean Marshall back in 2011, and he's spent time in five organizations overall while having just turned 23 years old two weeks ago.

St. Louis Cardinals (91-54, lead NL Central by 4 games)

The Cardinals have seen their once insurmountable lead in the NL Central shrink to just 4 games, but with so few regular season games left, they look as if they'll hold on and win the division.  If they do so, they'll be riding a pair of former Reds relievers in the process.

Jonathan Broxton has been a workhorse for them since being acquired at this year's trade deadline, as he's already pitched in 19 games.  Broxy's been good, too, having posted a 2.50 ERA in his 18 IP while sporting a solid 10.0 K/9.  He'll be a cog in their bullpen come playoff time.

Less certain is the status of Matt Belisle, since the 35 year old has thrown just one inning since late June (against the Reds just last week).  He's been on the roster for the entire season and can claim a 2.90 ERA, but his peripherals aren't nearly as rosy and the once PTBNL in the Kent Mercker trade may find himself on the outside looking in come the postseason.

Chicago Cubs (84-61, lead 2nd NL Wild Card race by 7.5 games)

The Cubs, like the Dodgers, have payroll capabilities that extend to the moon and appear to be a lock to make the postseason - albeit in the dreaded one-game playoff, likely against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Should that predictably materialize, there should certainly be some rooting interest in their dugout for fans of players who have spent time as members of the Reds.

Former Reds backstop David Ross isn't an everyday regular anymore, but he catches Jon Lester and plays a huge role in the team's leadership dynamic (reportedly).  That somewhat makes his .191/.281/.277 season line irrelevant, since he'll most certainly be on their playoff roster.  Next to him on the bench (and in the OF in key moments) will be the Reds 19th round pick from way back in 2002, as Chris Denorfia seems poised to claim a 4th OF/PH role for Chicago in the postseason.  He's hit .264/.313/.358 in 210 PA while spending time at all three OF spots.

Remnants of the same Sean Marshall trade already mentioned keep shining through, too, as Travis Wood appears set to be a lefty reliever (and likely long man, if needed) out of the bullpen, his 10.5 K/9 likely earning the Reds 2nd rounder from back in 2005 a return to the postseason for the first time since he went up against Roy Halladay in his no-hitter vs. Cincinnati back in 2010.  Ah, memories.

Texas Rangers (78-67, lead AL West by 1.5 games)

The Rangers and the Houston Astros sit neck and neck for both the 2nd Wild Card spot in the AL and ownership of the lead in the AL West, and the Rangers have been steaming along headstrong since making big splashes at the July 31st trade deadline.

They've also been riding a hot streak from Shin-Soo Choo, who is having a resurgent second season in Texas after a bit of a flub in 2014 after signing a massive $130 million contract.  Choo's hitting .261/.360/.443 with 18 dingers, and though his defense has been rather awful (-1.8 dWAR), his oWAR of 3.3 has him back to being a plus contributor at the top of the order.

Aside from Choo, the Rangers boast a trio of Reds of yore you'll remember fondly, though it's yet to be seen if any of them make the playoff roster.  Josh Hamilton just had knee surgery a week ago and may well be done for the year, and his bat had been a disappointment (6 dingers, 94 OPS+) since his acquisition from the Los Angeles Angels anyway.  Adam Rosales got 125 PA with the Rangers before being released in mid August, and though the team has interest in bringing him back, he won't be eligible for the postseason even if they do.  Drew Stubbs currently resides on their 40 man roster after being picked up off the Colorado Rockies scrap heap, but he's 0 for 11 and been lightly used since being called up once rosters expanded.  He may get a LIDR nod, but it's unlikely.

Toronto Blue Jays (83-62, lead AL East by 3 games)

Remember Scott Rolen?  Hmm.  Edwin Encarnacion continues to be the fuel of the fire that is the ridiculous Toronto offense, as the now 32 year old owns a .914 OPS, 32 dingers, and a monster 150 OPS+.  If only he could've played 3B...

Joining E5 on the Blue Jays' postseason roster will likely be Dioner Navarro, though the member of the 2012 Reds will likely do so only as a bench bat.

Former Cincinnati Red, Louisville Bat, Cincinnati Red, Louisville Bat, Cincinnati Red, Louisville Bat, and Cincinnati Red Jeff Francis also owns a spot on the team's 40 man as a LOOGY, though his ERA is near 7.00 and his WHIP is ugly to the point where he'll probably miss out on the team's postseason plans.

New York Yankees (80-65, lead 1st Wild Card race by 3.5 games)

The Bronx Bombers boast just a single former Red on their roster at the moment, but Didi Gregorius sure figures to play a prominent role with them in the playoffs should they hold on to the Wild Card spot they currently possess (or should they catch the Blue Jays for the AL East crown).

Didi's consistently improved since looking like a bit of a deer in the headlights at the beginning of the season after taking over for Derek Jeter as the Yankees' everday SS, but his defense has been solid and he now boasts a bat that's more than just a wet noodle.  He's hit .267/.316/.373 with 9 dingers, and that paired with his plus glove has him worth 2.9 bWAR already in 2015.

Kansas City Royals (85-60, lead AL Central by 10 games)

Finally, we have the Royals, who own the largest lead of any team in baseball and are doing so with several former high-profile Reds at their disposal.

Kansas City went out and acquired Jonny Gomes mid-year from the Atlanta Braves to provide beard, strength, beard strength, rah-rah, general awesomeness, and an ability to maul LHP in big moments, and while he's not had much of a chance to do so since landing in barbequeville, I'm certain he'll be there come playoff time.

If the playoffs started today, the Royals would probably have a former Red taking the mound for them in Game 1 of their ALDS, but it may not be the first name you thought of when you read that.  Edinson Volquez has had another solid year, posting a 13-8 record with a 3.59 ERA in 180.1 IP, and The Wagon has shown more consistency than in his erratic past.  I included his W/L record on purpose, too, since it's no secret that Ned Yost manages old-schooly, and that may well give Volquez the nod over newly minted Royal Johnny Cueto.  We all know how great Cueto is at his best, but he's struggled mightily since joining KC, owning a 5.43 ERA and 76 ERA+ in his 9 starts in the AL.  There's no doubt he'll be a part of the postseason rotation (they went and got him just for that reason), but whether or not he has ace status doted on him automatically by his new team remains to be seen.

Finally, to "close" this, I'll mention Ryan Madson even though he never pitched for the Reds in any regular season capacity and wasn't drafted by them, either.  He famously blew out his elbow after signing a 1 year, big money deal to be the Reds closer post Francisco Cordero, and his injury set in motion Aroldis Chapman's eventual move from rotation possibility to fireballing reliever for good.  Madson, to his credit, has been stellar since finally getting healthy this year, and his 2.44 ERA and 0.98 WHIP mean he'll get high-leverage relief innings for as long as the Royals are in contention.