It has been a full dozen days since the Cincinnati Reds respected home plate so much against the Atlanta Braves that they refused to stomp on it, twelve days since their season went poof for good. But while the Reds sit idly at home, the rest of the baseball world has kept right on plodding, with four teams remaining in their respective Championship Series.
There are some former Reds amongst them. Let’s check in on them.
LHP Alex Wood
It certainly feels as if we never saw Wood during his 2019 stint with the Reds, as injuries limited him to just 35.2 mediocre innings with the club following his move east in the blockbuster deal that included Kyle Farmer, Kyle Farmer, and (/checks notes) Kyle Farmer.
It’s been much of the same story for Wood in 2020, too. Injuries limited him to just 9 appearances, and only 2 of those were starts. He logged just 12.2 IP during the irregular season, and was tagged for 5 ER over his final trio of appearances (5.1 IP total).
If he’s right, he’s good, of course, and it never hurts to have a lefty available.
RHP Dylan Floro
Floro’s time on the mound as a Red was almost exactly as short as Wood’s, as he logged just 36.1 IP for Cincinnati during the 2018 season before being flipped to LA for whatever reason. Since then, he’s proven to be a veritable rock in the Dodgers bullpen, firing 24.1 innings of 165 ERA+ ball for them this year.
He backed that up with a lone scoreless frame in the Dodgers takedown of the San Diego Padres in the NLDS, and given that Clayton Kershaw was just scratched from tonight’s would-be start in Game 2 of the NLCS, odds are Floro will get some run this series as LA sorts out its beleaguered pitching staff.
IF Justin Turner
Turner never played for the big league Reds, but this provides yet another outlet for the reminder that the former All Star and NLCS MVP was drafted and developed by the Reds before being shipped to Baltimore 12 years ago in the deal that brought in Ramon Hernandez.
Turner boasted another brilliant .860 OPS during the irregular season and bonked in a trio of runs in the NLDS, and will again serve as a battleship in the middle of LA’s stacked lineup.
OF Adam Duvall
Look at me, guy who waited a day too long to get this post to publish and now gets to wax about the sad tale of Adam Duvall, who despite the premise of this overall post is not, in fact, still on Atlanta’s NLCS roster.
An oblique injury suffered in Game 1 yesterday ended Duvall’s run in the NLCS, and him being removed from the NLCS roster means that, by rule, he can’t be on a potential World Series roster, so his season is effectively done. It’s a frustrating end to another power-packed year for Duvall, who swatted 16 regular season dingers en route to a 113 OPS+, and backed it up with a decisive thump against the Reds in the not-yet-Division-Series.
LHP Brooks Raley
I’m still not exactly sure what went wrong between Raley and the Reds. After his lengthy stint as a starter in Korea, Raley returned stateside and landed with the Reds, who intended to use him in a relief role.
He fired a clean IP in his first appearance, allowed a lone ER in a 2.0 IP outing the next time on the bump (with 4 K), got shelled for 3 ER against the Chicago Cubs in his next outing (with no outs recorded), fired a scoreless IP against Cleveland, and was designated for assignment.
Houston scooped him up, and outside of a 3 ER appearance in Coors Field in late August, he tossed 14.2 innings allowing just 4 ER, or roughly a 2.45 ERA. He’s already appeared in each level of the playoffs for Houston out of the pen, and still has years of cheap team control remaining.
I at least hope the PTBNL the Reds get for him is a lottery ticket, though it will more likely than not end up just cash. Weird.
Manager Dusty Baker
Despite Houston’s rather despicable trashcan-banging scandal and their unwillingness to admit that they’re baseball’s villains at the moment, Dusty’s their manager, and I’d be lying if I said that I want anything other than awesomeness to land in Dusty’s lap.
They’ve got a tall order to overcome the 0-2 deficit they face against the Rays, and it’s probably the end of the road for Dusty’s tenure as commander of the Astros’ watch at season’s end if so, but there is still a huge part of me that hopes this somehow serves as the official return of Dusty as a manager in today’s game somehow, somewhere going forward.
LHP Hank Lunchmoney
Lunchmoney was originally a 13th round pick by the Reds out of Slippery Bridge Junior College after he went drafted (and unsigned) out of high school and spent a year riding pine at Division II Southwestern Nebraska A&M. Injuries to both his shoulder and elbow knocked him out of pro ball for nearly two full years, and he eventually abandoned his go-to 12/6 curveball in favor of a submarine delivery, as it put less pressure on his capsules. The sleuths in the Rays front office discovered him plying his trade in indy ball in 2018, and he has since resurrected his career, serving as both opener and closer for Tampa in between stints in middle relief.
This, you baseball wonks will confirm, is a complete fabrication, though one that fits the mold for pretty much every single pitcher on Tampa’s ALCS roster. Hell, it fits the mold for half their position players, too.
Neither Cody Reed nor Brian O’Grady were selected for Tampa’s ALCS roster.