The Reds made some serious moves among their coaching staff yesterday. The Reds fired pitching coach Jeff Pico and bench coach Jay Bell. They shuffled some other coaches around, and brought in a new pitching coach and first base coach. Here is the new coaching staff: Pitching coach: Mark Riggins He was the Reds minor league […]
You may have heard that the Reds hired a new manager. His name is Bryan Price. He used to be Cincinnati’s pitching coach, but then the Reds fired their previous manager (that guy’s name was Dusty Baker), and Price was installed as the field general. What’s that, you say? You already knew all this? Well, […]
November 17, 1933: The Reds trade Red Lucas, one of the best pitchers and pinch hitters in Reds history, along with reserve outfielder Wally Roettger, to the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Adam Comorosky and infielder Tony Piet.
Lucas was a Reds Hall of Famer who’s probably not as well known today because he played on some truly rotten Reds baseball teams. He was probably the “Mario Soto” of his day, being one of the best pitchers in the league on one of baseball’s worst teams. However, there were two huge differences in Soto’s and Lucas’s perfomrances. Soto was a strikeout pitcher who struck out as a many as 274 in a season (258 innings). Lucas “pitched to contact,” never striking out more than 72 in a season (270 innings). Soto walked 3.4 batters/nine innings for his career, Lucas walked 1.6/nine innings. Another difference was that Lucas was an exceptional hitter with a lifetime batting average of .281 (85 OPS+) with 190 rbi in 16 seasons. Soto’s career batting average was .132 (-12 OPS+) with 24 rbi in 12 seasons.
Lucas’s win-loss percentage regularly exceeded his team’s performance. As a Red, Lucas was 109-99, a .524 won-loss percentage from 1926-33. The Reds during these eight years posted a .441 winning percentage. Lucas’s best season was 1929 when he went 19-12 with a 3.60 ERA (127 ERA+) and led the league with 28 complete games and a 1.204 WHIP. He finished sixth in MVP voting, finishing second amongst pitchers (there was no Cy Young Award at the time), as he was second in games won and fifth in ERA. For his career, Lucas was 157-135 with a 3.72 ERA (107 ERA+). As a hitter, Lucas batted .300 for the Reds with a .735 OPS (97 OPS+). As a pinch hitter, Lucas was 114 for 437, a .261 batting average.
Lucas didn’t walk away quietly from the Reds. He played five seasons for the Pirates, going 47-32 with a 3.77 ERA. Against the Reds, he was a whopping 14-0 during those five seasons and 33-32 against the rest of the league. As for the other principals in the deal, Roettger played 47 games with the Pirates and was done. Comorosky played two seasons for the Reds, one as a starter, batting .256 with two homers (71 OPS+). Piet became the Reds starting third baseman for 1934 and hit .259 with one homer (75 OPS+) before being sold to the Chicago White Sox.
Charlton was part of the Reds 1990 “Nasty Boys” bullpen and had become a co-closer with Rob Dibble in 1992. Charlton was selected to the 1992 all-star team and finished the season 4-2 with a 2.99 ERA and 26 saves. Coupled with Dibble’s 3-5, 3.07 ERA and 25 saves, the Reds had quite a combination out of the bullpen. With both relievers expected to make about $2.5 million in salary for 1993, the Reds decided to stick with Dibble and deal the lefty Charlton to the Mariners for one of baseball’s most feared sluggers at the time, Kevin Mitchell.