CINCINNATI REDS

The great power teams of 1956 and '57 are gone, but so is the bad pitching that wrecked them. Changed also is last year's squad, which was unbalanced in the opposite sense. Now the Reds plan to field a ball club with a smoother blend
April 13, 1959

STRONG POINTS
Let's forget about last season's statistics which show the Reds lacked hitting and power (next to last in batting and home runs) but were strong in pitching (third-best ERA). Past records don't seem to mean a thing as far as Cincinnati is concerned. Go back just two years and you find the Reds had the worst pitching in the league but were near the top in hitting and home runs. General Manager Gabriel Paul has had trouble getting the scales in balance. This year the Reds will have hitting and power again. The addition of home-run hitter Frank Thomas promises them that, and the continued presence of Frank Robinson who became a star so quickly that it's hard to realize he's been around for only three seasons, double-guarantees it. Rookie Center Fielder Vada Pinson promises a little extra. Left Fielder Gus Bell and Catcher Ed Bailey were hitting the long ball a few seasons ago, and they're both too talented to have forgotten how. Fiery Second Baseman Johnny Temple doesn't hit many home runs, but he's always on base (91 walks and a .306 batting average). Right Fielder Jerry Lynch became a .300 hitter when he was allowed to play regularly. Bob Purkey, youngest of the quartet of starting pitchers, won 17 last season, and Don Newcombe, Brooks Lawrence and Joe Nuxhall all had the winning habit only a few years back. Despite the seesaw hitting and pitching, the defense has been unshakeable. No major league team ever made as few errors (100) as the 1958 Reds. McMillan and Temple are still superb around second. Bell and Pinson, and Robinson, too, if he plays outfield, can go far to get a ball and know how to get rid of it in a hurry. Bailey remains one of the best receivers in the league.

WEAK SPOTS
Too much depends on aging pitchers, whose best years may belong to the past. Hulking Don Newcombe had arm trouble last year and may never be the same without Campy and Jackie Robinson around to goad him. Lawrence is 34 and has worked an awful lot of innings in his career. Unless some of the rookies come through, the secondary pitching won't worry the hitters too much. The Reds have to find a reliever or two quickly; hard-bitten Hal Jeff coat can't do it alone. He did a wonderful job early last year but broke down when he was used too often. Some defense is lost with Thomas at third, and although Robinson has quick natural movements, he is playing an unfamiliar position at first. Lynch spoils the defensive reputation of the outfield.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES
There are loads of them, and they make the difference between last year's team and this. Versatile longtime Pirate Frank Thomas is the big one. With the short left-field fence target at Crosley Field, there's no telling how many home runs he could bash in 1959. Strongman Del Ennis, newly arrived from St. Louis, missed his usual 100 RBIs last season but still is a nice guy to have on your bench. Handy utility infielder Eddie Kasko, Jim Pendleton, who can play second, third or the outfield, and sharp, pull-hitting Johnny Powers add more seasoning and depth to a good bench that includes holdovers Bob Thurman, Pete Whisenant and Walt Dropo. Righthander Bobbie Mabe has all the pitches to become Manager Mayo Smith's needed fifth starter or long relief man. Twenty-year-old Vada Pinson didn't stick after a sensational spring last season but did come back to hit .412 in nine games at the end of the year. He had a great spring again this time, and the neat center fielder, who runs like a whippet, should be ready to start a long career in the majors. Heavy-set Dutch Dotterer finally gets his chance to catch behind Bailey this year. The Reds, who have had trouble producing their own pitchers, have come up with some promising ones at last. Left-hander Jim O'Toole, in his first year in Organized Baseball, had a 1.29 ERA in winning 20 games in Double-A competition. O'Toole is a determined young man (22) with a live fast ball, remarkable control and unusual poise. Wispy Orlando Pena from Cuba has the best chance of sticking, on the strength of 15 wins in the winter leagues and a good spring showing. Another rookie who looks as if he might be ready this season is 21-year-old Miguel Cuellar, also a southpaw from Cuba.

THE BIG IFS
The Reds could really stir things up in the National League if Ed Bailey regains his batting eye, Gus Bell gets healthy again, Jerry Lynch continues to hit well and Vada Pinson duplicates his spring in the summer. But even if these four doubts are favorably resolved, Big Newk must rear back and throw that hard one again.

THE OUTLOOK
This is a team with enough talent at all key positions—except pitching—to go all the way. Robinson is a fine player, and the others are near the top at their position. Frank Thomas should love little Crosley Field. The pitching was better last year but still needs improvement. Without it, the Reds will have a fight to stay in fourth. With it—Milwaukee, beware!

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PHOTOFROM TWO GUYS NAMED FRANK—THOMAS AND ROBINSON—THE REDS ARE EXPECTING SUFFICIENT POWER TO PUT THEM IN PENNANT CONTENTION PHOTOTEMPLE PHOTOMcMILLAN PHOTOBELL PHOTOLYNCH PHOTOENNIS PHOTOBAILEY PHOTOPINSON PHOTONUXHALL PHOTOPURKEY PHOTOLAWRENCE PHOTONEWCOMBE PHOTOJEFFCOAT ILLUSTRATION

BASIC ROSTER

NO.

NAME

POSITION

1968 RECORD

6

ED BAILEY

C

.250

10

EDDIE KASKO

IF

.220

11

ROY McMILLAN

SS

.229

15

FRANK THOMAS

3B

.281

16

JOHNNY TEMPLE

2B

.306

18

WALT DROPO

1B

.290

20

FRANK ROBINSON

1B

.269

23

DEL ENNIS

OF

.261

24

JERRY LYNCH

RF

.213

25

GUS BELL

LP

.252

27

JOHNNY POWERS

OF

.183

28

VADA PINSON

CF

.271

29

PETE WHISENANT

OF

.236

36

DON NEWCOMBE

P

7-13

37

BOB PURKEY

P

17-11

39

JOE NUXHALL

P

12-11

40

TOM ACKER

P

4-3

42

HAL JEFFCOAT

P

6-8

45

BOBBIE MABE

P

3-9

46

BROOKS LAWRENCE

P

8-13

PAST PERFORMANCE CHART

YEAR

FINISHED

WON

LOST

GAMES BEHIND

1958

4

76

78

16

1957

4

80

74

15

1956

3

91

63

2

1955

5

75

79

23½

1954

5

74

80

23

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

BATTING

PITCHING

1958

TEMPLE

.306

PURKEY

17-11

1957

ROBINSON

.322

LAWRENCE

16-13

1956

KLUSZEWSKI

.302

LAWRENCE

19-10

1955

KLUSZEWSKI

.314

NUXHALL

17-12

1954

KLUSZEWSKI

.326

NUXHALL

12-5

HOME RUNS

RUNS BATTED IN

1958

ROBINSON

31

ROBINSON

83

1957

CROWE

31

CROWE

92

1956

ROBINSON

38

KLUSZEWSKI

102

1955

KLUSZEWSKI

47

KLUSZEWSKI

113

1954

KLUSZEWSKI

49

KLUSZEWSKI

141

HOME SCHEDULE

*Night game

APRIL

PITTSBURGH

9,14*,15

PHILADELPHIA

17*,18,19

MILWAUKEE

24*,25,26

ST. LOUIS

28*

CHICACO

29*,30*

MAY

LOS ANGELES

1*,2,3,3

SAN FRANCISCO

4*,5*

PHILADELPHIA

26*,27*,28*

PITTSBURGH

29*,30,31,31

JUNE

LOS ANGELES

2*,3*,4*

SAN FRANCISCO

5*,6

CHICAGO

23*,24*,25*

ST. LOUIS

26*,27,28,28

MILWAUKEE

30*

JULY

MILWAUKEE

1*

SAN FRANCISCO

9*,10*,11

LOS ANGELES

12,13*

PHILADELPHIA

24*,25,26,26

ST. LOUIS

28*,29*,30*

CHICAGO

31*

AUGUST

CHICAGO

1,2

MILWAUKEE

11*,12*,13*

SAN FRANCISCO

17*,18*

LOS ANGELES

19*,20*

ST. LOUIS

21*,22,23

CHICAGO

25*,26*,27*

SEPTEMBER

PITTSBURGH

1*,2*

MILWAUKEE

4*,5,6

PHILADELPHIA

7

PITTSBURGH

26,27

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)