Cincinnati Reds: Former players are playing key roles with Dodgers

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 19: Yasmani Grandal
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 19: Yasmani Grandal /

The Cincinnati Reds blueprint

The Cincinnati Reds have done their part by dealing veterans for the most part. With that, sometimes those players play a key role in the future with a different team. That isn’t a surprise to most, as some teams find a diamond in the rough. Furthermore, the Reds are in a rebuild.

As other clubs remain in their competitive window, they delve into their system to reach for outside talent. The Reds were able to capitalize on most of their players on the block. Also, they have done well on the draft front as well to improve their system. This organization has a top 10 system that is still improving.

A generational talent like Hunter Greene alone will vault a system into one of the best. But the farm is also highlighted by stud positional players, such as Nick Senzel. The Reds have traded off their fair share of players in recent years. Two of them this season are on the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

LA has steamrolled through the postseason so far, and will be a difficult task for Jose Altuve and company. This World Series has a duo of former Cincinnati Reds, they are lefty reliever Tony Cingrani and backstop Yasmani Grandal.

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The Cincinnati Reds’ former left handed reliever

Tony Cingrani was inconsistent for most of his career with the Reds. He was good in 2013 with a 2.92 ERA, and has been alright since then. He has had a problem with control, with his career walk rate is a bloated 4.44. His fastball command is key to his success, as his slider is a chase pitch. What is intriguing is that he can pitch to both lefties and righties, as they both have a .247 batting average against.

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This postseason, there were very few teams that had reliable left handed relievers. Cingrani plays the role of not only a lefty specialist, but as a consistent pitcher from the left side. In that deal, the Reds were able to nab catching prospect Hendrik Clementina. GM Dick Williams called the backstop was “a young prospect we like in Clementina that fills a need for us in the lower levels and we feel has some pretty good upside.”

With that said, the Reds were able to make out well in this deal, also getting backup outfielder Scott Van Slyke who has a few more years of control and is signed to a minor league deal. Cingrani is a former bullpen piece that will now contribute on the grandest stage in all of baseball.

Cincinnati Reds’ former first round pick

In 2010, the Reds drafted Yasmani Grandal with the 12th overall pick. The very next pick, the Chicago White Sox drafted Chris Sale. The 28-year old backstop was dealt in a package for Mat Latos from San Diego in 2011. From there, the Padres flipped him in the Matt Kemp trade three years later. That ultimately helped the catcher, as he is playing his best baseball with LA.

He has bashed 65 home runs in just three years with the Dodgers. The Cuban athlete is also good with the glove, as to his 12.6 Def stat. He is well versed on both sides of the ball, and is a late bloomer. The switch-hitter batted .247, but that doesn’t tell the whole story, because of his .298 BABIP. Grandal had some unlucky outs this season, and without them he would have hit almost .300.

The Dodgers have a veteran presence in a clubhouse with plenty of energy. He will be handling the historic Clayton Kershaw, as well as cutter dominant Kenley Jansen. Grandal has blossomed with LA, and the Reds at the time yearned for an ace. Getting out of Petco Park as a hitter always helps, but he was able to shore up his defense while there.

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Two former Reds will play the most important games of their lives. They will be key cogs in their success as a team. With all the young talent, Cincinnati hopes to be in that situation soon.