All-time best Reds starting rotation based on WAR

It's quite likely that most Reds fans have never heard of these pitchers before.

Bucky Walters wide-eyed and displaying the uniform
Bucky Walters wide-eyed and displaying the uniform / File, Cincinnati Enquirer via Imagn
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Over the entire history of Cincinnati baseball, it's fair to say that the Reds organization is more widely-known for those players who've stepped into the batters' box and not so much those who've stepped on the mound.

All-time greats like Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, and Johnny Bench were known for swinging the lumber, not their backdoor slider. But that doesn't mean that the Cincinnati Reds have been devoid of pitching talent.

Joe Nuxhall, Jose Rijo, and more recently Bronson Arroyo, have won the hearts of fans throughout Reds Country. But when you break down a pitcher's performance based on Wins Above Replacement, referred to as WAR, who rises to the top? For this exercise, Baseball Reference (bWAR) will be the tool of choice.

1. Tony Mullane, Reds right-handed pitcher (38.5 WAR)

Tony Mullane was born in Cork, Ireland in 1859. According to, Mullane was the first-ever ambidextrous pitcher in major league history. Mullane pitched for the Detroit Wolverines in 1881 and then joined the Louisville Eclipse of the American Association in 1882.

After posting a 102-69 record during his first four seasons, Mullane joined the Cincinnati Reds in 1886. Mullane's first season in the Queen City saw him post a 33-27 record while leading the league in hits allowed, home runs allowed, and earned runs.

Mullane would go on to play six more seasons in Cincinnati while racking up a win-loss record of 124-91 with a 2.93 ERA from 1887-1892. Midway through the 1893 season, Tony Mullane was traded to Baltimore Orioles for first baseman Piggy Ward.

The 1894 season was Mullane's last as he split time between the Orioles and Cleveland Spiders. Mullane finished his career with a record of 284-220 with 163 of those victories coming in Cincinnati. Mullane's career bWAR while pitching for the Reds was 38.5. If you're looking for a fun fact about Mullane, he still leads baseball with 343 wild pitches.