The 1988 Project Phase 2 Day 5: Cincinnati Reds

As always, rookies first…

Jack Armstrong -The All-American boy was a lauded rookie for the Reds, so getting him into these sets was kind of a big deal. Unfortunately, 1988 was not a good year for him. He went 4-7 with a 5.79 ERA, 45K in 65 IP, a 62 ERA+, and a -1.4 WAR. He had a good season in him, but 1988 was not it.

Rob Dibble – No comment on this clown. 1-1, 1.82, 37 games, 1.4 WAR. Next.

Jeff Treadway – Jeff had appeared in some games in 1987, but 88 was his first full season. He hit .252/.315/.362, a 91 OPS+. Good for a rookie second baseman. He finished with a 1.5 WAR.

And the vets…

Tim Birtsas – He was a name I only vaguely remembered. With good reason; he played very little in the majors. Part of the Jose Rijo/Dave Parker deal, he went 1-3 with a 4.20 ERA in 36 games that year for a -0.5 WAR.

Danny Jackson – Good GOD Danny Jackson had a good 1988. I had no idea how good. He led the league in wins with 23, and went 23-8 with a 2.73 ERA. He also led the league in complete games with 15. A 132 ERA+ and a 4.7 WAR. Great pickup!

Herm Winningham – Did you know his middle name is Son? Neither did I. A midseason pickup, Herm hit .230/.261/.292 in 53 games for the Reds, good for a 56 OPS+ and a -0.1 WAR. Yuck.

Paul O’Neill is an oddball. He’d been with the team since 85 at this point. Much like Alejandro Pena, I think Fleer just missed him in the regular set, so he doesn’t count.

So these guys all add up to 5.6 WAR, which we’ll round down to 4.5 given that the Reds would almost assuredly have replaced some of these guys with above replacement-level guys. What does subtracting those wins do for the 88 Reds? Well, it drops them from 87-74 to 82-79, which would have put them near the bottom of the AL East that year. I think Jackson has to account for a lot of that, though, so good job, Danny Jackson!


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