Cincinnati Reds: Who is most likely to have their jersey retired next?

CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 26: Former Cincinnati Reds great Pete Rose (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 26: Former Cincinnati Reds great Pete Rose (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
SAN DIEGO, CA – CIRCA 1988: Jose Rijo of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Owen C. Shaw/Getty Images) /

José Rijo, No. 27

Already inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame, perhaps it’s time for José Rijo to see his No. 27 hanging above the field at Great American Ball Park. While his career is marred by injuries and the thoughts of what could have been, Rijo may have been the single greatest performer in the 1990 World Series, taking home MVP honors after winning two games in the four-game sweep.

Rijo had an absolutely stellar career for the Reds. hIn exchange for aging slugger Dave Parker, the right-hander was traded from the Oakland Athletics to Cincinnati. Once he arrived in the Queen City, Rijo went right to work. The Dominican native went 13-8 with a 2.39 ERA in his first year with the Reds, and that was just the beginning.

From 1988 to 1994, Rijo went 87-53 with a 2.63 ERA over 1,315 innings of work. During that time, Rijo recorded 17 complete games and four shutouts. He struck out 1,139 batters, averaging 163 punch outs per season. Rijo made one All-Star appearance during that time, though he should have gone to more, and finished in the Top 5 of the Cy Young race twice.

By today’s standards, which rely more heavily on analytics, José Rijo would’ve run away with the Cy Young in 1993. Per Baseball Reference, Rijo had the most wins above replacement (9.2) of any pitcher in the National League. Greg Maddux, who won 20 games that season, finished with 5.8 WAR. Rijo also had 30 more strikeouts (227) that Maddux (197) that year.