Search

Cincinnati REDS

April 11, 1960
April 11, 1960

Table of Contents
April 11, 1960

Toothpick
Cards
1960 Olympic Basketball Team U.S.
Bally Ache
Scouting Reports
  • Two full major league teams could be fielded from the Los Angeles roster, and there'd still be fine players on the bench. Yet this club will have to be lucky to win the pennant again

  • Red Schoendienst was out last year but even so the Braves were heavily favored to win the pennant. They failed. Now Red is back, there's a fiery new manager and Milwaukee is favored

  • The San Francisco Giants are hungry. Last year they were just about to eat the cake when it was stolen away. Now they are smarter and tougher, as the National League will soon discover

  • Friend, Mazeroski and Skinner are back inform, and the Pirates are dangerous once more. But without real power, they must play near-perfect baseball to rise above fourth this year

  • Slipping steadily since their third-place finish in 1956, the Reds have frantically plugged first one deficiency and then another. Now, at last, they seem to have a sound, solid team

  • Tied for seventh in 1957, tied for fifth in 1958, tied for fifth again last year, the Cubs have been improving. It would seem that this year...but no. The higher you go the tougher it gets

  • The Cardinals have gained in power and the pitching should be improved. But in 154 games an awful lot of baseballs are destined to find their way safely through that leaky defense

  • The Phillies have junked an old, losing club to give their youngsters a chance. This will be no miracle of 1950, but at least the Phils will lose in a younger, more interesting way

  • The Sox won in a weakened league and no one knows it better than Bill Veeck. He has strengthened the attack and made them the team to beat for the first time since 1920

  • A group of pawns on Frank Lane's chessboard came surprisingly close to capturing last year's pennant. Now, having exchanged a few key men, Lane feels he has a winner

  • The old Yankees are dead, and their replacements are not in the same class. This is a sound team but it is far from being a great one and it will need lots of luck to rise above third place

  • Tactical troubles—at shortstop and first base—still plague the Tigers. But the main problem is strategic: how to stir contented also-rans and give the faithful something really to shout about

  • The Red Sox finished in the second division last season for the first time since 1952. Now Jensen is gone and Williams is going, going. It may be a while before the Sox climb back up

  • After several halfway seasons, the Orioles are now fully committed to their youth program. Youngsters have taken over as the old names fade. It will all pay off...someday

  • There's a new optimism in Kansas City. The outfield is solid, the infield and pitching are better, and Hank Bauer has pepped up the whole ball club. Fifth place could be the result

  • A few years ago Washington was a one-man ball club and a last-place team. Things are brighter now. The Senators are still a cellar team but now they have some players people have heard of

Track
Tennis
Motor Sports
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

Cincinnati REDS

Slipping steadily since their third-place finish in 1956, the Reds have frantically plugged first one deficiency and then another. Now, at last, they seem to have a sound, solid team

Cincinnati has spent years in dogged search of the great god balance, trying to find a happy blend of hitting and pitching. The results have not been encouraging. The club has suffered, in successive seasons, from not enough pitching, not enough hitting and not enough pitching again.

This is an article from the April 11, 1960 issue Original Layout

•THE DIRECTION IS UP
Undiscouraged, General Manager Gabe Paul has patiently devoted each winter to correcting the glaring weakness of the previous summer. This winter he may well have succeeded: he needed a really good starting pitcher and got Cal McLish, a 19-game winner, from the Indians; he needed a hard-working, dependable relief pitcher and got Bill Henry, who appeared in 65 games with an ERA of 2.69, from the Cubs. Well fortified with dangerous hitters and nimble fielders (like Center Fielder Vada Pinson at left), Cincinnati now appears to have its best all-around club since the pennant years of 1939-40. A return to the first division is a strong possibility.

•DEEP AS A WELL

The bulk of Redleg improvement stems from the new-found depth in pitching. For the first time in years, spring camp bulged with talented pitchers, and positions were won after stiff competition rather than by default. As a result, the Cincinnati staff (which last year gave up the most hits and runs in the league) now looks pretty good. The most important additions are, of course, McLish and Henry. McLish won 35 games in two years as a starter at Cleveland. Last season 13 of his 19 victories were over first-division teams, including six over the Yankees and four (of the Indians' seven) over the White Sox. McLish is 34 and has been pitching since 1944; arms that old can give way at any time, but only Frank Lane seems to think Cal's has reached that point.

Last year the Reds lost 27 games by blowing late-inning leads, and Henry should cut that number by two-thirds. An ineffective "thrower" a few years ago, he now has excellent control, yet can blaze away with the best of them for a couple of innings.

McLish joins a staff of regular starters that includes Don Newcombe and Bob Purkey, both right-handers, and lefty Joe Nuxhall. Jut-jawed Newk, a major rehabilitation project in 1958, had the best record on the staff last year (13-8). He completed 17 of 29 starts and had the finest over-the-plate control in either league (1.09 walks per game). Purkey slipped considerably from his impressive 17-11 record in 1958, but did manage to win 13 games. Nuxhall, out with injuries a good part of the season, worked his fewest number of innings since 1952 and compiled a disappointing 9-9, 4.23 mark. Failure to improve this year could cost him his job as a starter. Big Jim Brosnan (8-3 with the Reds last year) will serve both as bullpen long man and spot starter. Despite a poor 1959 record, Brooks Lawrence excelled in late-season relief work and will now devote full time to the bullpen.

Pressing for regular assignments are three promising youngsters: Jay Hook and Jim O'Toole (each 23) and Claude Osteen (20). Hook and O'Toole were dropped into the starting rotation last summer and took their lumps right along with their elders. Both worked hard this spring to hold their places on the staff. Hook, a fast-ball pitcher with plenty of stuff, cut down his long stride, while the left-handed O'Toole tried to develop an effective curve. Osteen, another lefty, pitched well for seventh-place Seattle, but figures to stick mainly because his options have been exhausted.

•FRANKIE AND JOHNNY
To get pitching help the Reds had to disrupt the finest-hitting team in baseball (major league leaders in batting average, runs, hits, runs batted in, total bases and doubles). They parted with Frank Thomas, the former Pirate slugger, who slipped badly (.225, 47 RBIs) with the Reds, and aggressive Johnny Temple, whose heads-up play and .292 career batting average held Cincinnati affections for eight years. Despite the trades, the core of Redleg power remains intact. Frank Robinson, Pin-son and Gus Bell amassed a total of 75 home runs and 324 RBIs, and averaged 301 total bases, equal to Rocky Colavito's American League-leading mark. The versatile Pinson can outleg infield rollers, slap doubles down either line and slam the ball deep into any bleachers. In his first full season last year he led the league in doubles and runs scored, batted .316 and stole 21 bases; he will crowd Willie Mays for the title of baseball's best center fielder. Robinson snapped back from a substandard 1958 season to hit .311 and rack up 36 homers and 125 RBIs. He also stole 18 bases, almost double his previous high. Bell more than doubled his 1958 RBI total (to 115) and boosted his batting average 41 points to .293. Shortstop Roy McMillan, out for half of 1959 with a broken hand and a fractured collarbone, will be the Reds' new lead-off man, replacing the departed Temple. Catcher Ed Bailey never seems to live up to his press clippings, but still hits a dozen homers a year and drives in 50 runs.

•A BIT OF A DOUBT

Just how much more punch Cincinnati can cram into the lineup will depend largely on developments at first base and third. Strapping Gordy Coleman, part of the package that brought McLish, is a highly touted first-base prospect who disappointed in training. Lee Walls, an outfielder acquired from the Cubs, is also getting a shot at first base. Robinson, who played 125 games at first last year, may be back there again. Third base has agile Eddie Kasko and lead-footed Willie Jones sharing the duties. Jones, now 34, can still hit for distance.

Second base is a question mark for two reasons: the brilliance of the former tenant and the uncertainty surrounding his replacement. The replacement is Billy Martin, an American League problem child since 1950, now getting what may be his last chance to straighten out. Billed as a surefire solution to problems in Kansas City, Detroit and Cleveland, he has repeatedly failed to match his fine play as a Yankee. Manager Fred Hutchinson and the Red front office have carefully avoided loud predictions of Martin stardom, and Billy seems to be responding to this soft-sell approach. Not in Temple's class as a hitter (although he is always around .260), Martin fields nearly as well as Johnny, makes the pivot smoothly and has a gift for coming up with the big play. As far as the Reds are concerned, he doesn't have to be another Temple; if he can just be the Martin of old he'll have more than earned his way.

Reserve strength is thin in the in-field but better than average elsewhere. Should Robinson be stuck at first base, Walls and Jerry Lynch, who is a liability with a glove but a good hitter, will probably be platooned in left field; rookie Tony Gonzales may also crash the lineup. Behind Bailey are Frank House, one of the first bonus players, and hefty Dutch Dotterer. Both are capable catchers and fair hitters.

View this article in the original magazine

PHOTOPHOTOMcMillanPHOTOBellPHOTONewcombePHOTOBaileyPHOTORobinsonPHOTOMartin

BASIC ROSTER

NO.

NAME

POSITION

1959 RECORD

6

ED BAILEY

C

.264

9

DUTCH DOTTERER

C

.267

10

EDDIE KASKO

IF

.283

11

ROY MCMILLAN

SS

.264

14

WILLIE JONES

3B

.257

17

BILLY MARTIN

2B

.260

18

GORDON COLEMAN

1B

Minors

20

FRANK ROBINSON

1B-LF

.311

24

JERRY LYNCH

OF

.269

25

GUS BELL

RF

.293

27

LEE WALLS

OF

.257

28

VADA PINSON

CF

.316

36

DON NEWCOMBE

P

13-8

37

BOB PURKEY

P

13-18

29

JOE NUXHALL

P

9-9

40

CAL MCLISH

P

19-8

42

JIM BROSNAN

P

9-6

44

BILL HENRY

P

9-8

46

BROOKS LAWRENCE

P

7-12

47

JAY HOOK

P

5-5

1959 TEAM PERFORMANCE

FINISHED

WON

LOST

GAMES BEHIND

5 (tie)

74

80

13

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

BATTING

PITCHING

PINSON

.316

NEWCOMBE

13-8

ROBINSON

.311

NUXHALL

9-9

TEMPLE

.311

PURKEY

13-18

HOME RUNS

RUNS BATTED IN

ROBINSON

36

ROBINSON

125

PINSON

20

BELL

115

BELL

19

PINSON

84