The trade deadline rapidly approaches, and I expect the rumor mill to start spitting out nonsense at any moment. The Reds could use some help in a couple of areas, and we’re already hearing that they’ll look for relievers (again), but get ready for the silly season. That’s not why I’m gathering you here today, […]

July 13, 2006: The Cincinnati Reds trade Austin Kearns, Felipe Lopez and Ryan Wagner to the Washington Nationals for Bill Bray, Royce Clayton, Brendan Harris, Gary Majewski and Daryl Thompson.

The 2005 Reds team was a team of transition. Following the 2004 season, all-time great shortstop Barry Larkin had retired, and Felipe Lopez had moved into the shortstop position. They had replaced most of their starting pitching staff as Jose Acevedo and Cory Lidle had been traded, and Paul Wilson only made nine starts in 2005 due to injury. Ramon Ortiz, Luke Hudson, and Eric Milton joined holdovers Aaron Harang and Brandon Claussen.

The 2004 team had three starting pitchers with ERAs over 5.00, but that didn’t improve in 2006. Three pitchers again had ERAs over 5.00, with two over 6.00, but the Reds relievers and defense held on enough to lower runs allowed by 18. The big difference in 2005 was that their offense improved by 70 runs, or almost one-half run per game. The Reds’ offense featured a set of four slugging outfielders, Ken Griffey, Jr., and youngsters Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns, and Wily Mo Pena. The team also had smooth swinging first baseman Sean Casey at first base and an offensive minded shortstop in Lopez. This team averaged over 5.125 runs per game, allowing almost 5.5 runs per game.
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Using baseball-reference.com, I looked up the best hitting Reds’ pitchers. This goes back through 1901. It’s fairly consistent; the best hitters show up on both career and seasonal lists, as do the worst.

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