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cincrazy
08-10-2012, 06:57 PM
I haven't been around all that long, so don't have nearly as much to offer here as some others probably do. Most of the arms I've seen in my Reds life have been awful. But the greatness of Aroldis Chapman got me to thinking: who are the greatest arms you've ever watched pitch in a Reds uni, and how would you rank them? Who are the top 5 arms of your lifetime as a Reds fan?

I'd rank mine as the following:

1. Chapman
2. Jose Rijo (although I never actually saw him pitch in his prime)
3. Johnny Cueto
4. Scott Williamson
5. Edinson Volquez (Obviously, not going just by results here. When Volquez was on, he was a kind of nasty I hadn't seen before as a Reds fan)

mth123
08-10-2012, 07:03 PM
1. Tom Seaver
2. Jim Maloney
3. Mario Soto
4. Jose Rijo
5. Johnny Cueto & Don Gullett (Tie)

Relievers

1. Aroldis Chapman
2. Rob Dibble
3. Pedro Borbon
4. Scott Sullivan
5. Clay Carroll

Pre-injury Gary Nolan was probably better than all of them.

cumberlandreds
08-10-2012, 07:09 PM
These are pitchers I have seen in my 41 years as a Reds fan:

Starters

1. Seaver
2. Soto
3. Gullet
4. Rijo
5. Cueto

Relievers

1. Chapman
2. Dibble
3. Borbon Just on sheer durability
4. Randy Myers
5. Clay Carroll

Dan
08-10-2012, 07:13 PM
Good question.

Off the top of my head:
1. Chapman
2. Seaver
3. Soto
4. Rijo
5. Dibble

Honorable mention:
Williamson
Cueto
Latos
Meyers
Charlton

westofyou
08-10-2012, 07:17 PM
Bruce Berenyi had a pretty live arm

marcshoe
08-10-2012, 07:23 PM
What, no Cesar Geronimo?

VR
08-10-2012, 08:01 PM
Kirk Saarloos

BCubb2003
08-10-2012, 08:04 PM
Chapman
Seaver
Gullett
Soto
Bench

vic715
08-10-2012, 08:18 PM
Maloney,Gullett,Soto,Rijo, and Chapman.

2nd team
Seaver,Dibble,Cueto,Volquez,and Charlton.

RANDY IN INDY
08-10-2012, 08:38 PM
Jim Maloney
Wayne Simpson
Tom Seaver
Don Gullett
Aroldis Chapman

Roy Tucker
08-10-2012, 09:01 PM
Wayne Simpson


Amen. He was a Dwight Gooden-kind of talent.

Modern day surgical techniques would have had him back in 6-12 months. Instead, he was over and done with before he even got started.

powersackers
08-10-2012, 09:03 PM
Howington and Gruler were good in HS. And Van Popple was a Red.

Roy Tucker
08-10-2012, 09:05 PM
I'd say:

Jim Maloney
Wayne Simpson
Don Gullett
Aroldis Chapman
Rob Dibble

They have/had the kinds of arms that could make a quality MLB hitter look silly.

Spitball
08-10-2012, 09:07 PM
Jim Maloney
Don Gullett
Mario Soto
Rob Dibble
Aroldis Chapman

Honorable mention: Gary Nolan (rookie season), Wayne Simpson, Bruce Berenyi, Frank Pastore

cincrazy
08-10-2012, 09:14 PM
When did Berenyi pitch? I know very little about him.

Always Red
08-10-2012, 09:18 PM
Johnny Bench told me personally, about 5 years ago, that Wayne Simpson threw harder than anyone he ever caught.


Maloney
Simpson
Seaver
Nolan
Chapman

I though Billy McCool was going to be great.

Spitball
08-10-2012, 09:39 PM
When did Berenyi pitch? I know very little about him.

He pitched in the early 1980s for the Reds before being traded to the Mets for (I believe) Jay Tibbs. He threw hard but had high walk totals and not that impressive k/9 numbers.

mth123
08-10-2012, 09:41 PM
Jim Maloney
Wayne Simpson
Tom Seaver
Don Gullett
Aroldis Chapman

Forgot about Wayne Simpson.

The could have been list.

1. Gary Nolan
2. Wayne Simpson
3. Jack Armstrong
4. Steve Foster
5. Brad Lesley

cincrazy
08-10-2012, 09:48 PM
He pitched in the early 1980s for the Reds before being traded to the Mets for (I believe) Jay Tibbs. He threw hard but had high walk totals and not that impressive k/9 numbers.

Holy crap, he walked like 6 or 7 per 9 innings haha. Just checked his baseball reference page. Didn't give up a lot of homers though. His k/9 numbers actually weren't all that impressive. He had one year where he was over 9, but other than that he was in the 6-7 range. Did he throw big time gas, and was he a lefty or a righty?

Spitball
08-10-2012, 09:56 PM
Holy crap, he walked like 6 or 7 per 9 innings haha. Just checked his baseball reference page. Didn't give up a lot of homers though. His k/9 numbers actually weren't all that impressive. He had one year where he was over 9, but other than that he was in the 6-7 range. Did he throw big time gas, and was he a lefty or a righty?

He was a righty. He threw hard, but like Gullett, he didn't have great k/9 stats.

RedsfaninMT
08-10-2012, 10:02 PM
Forgot about Wayne Simpson.

The could have been list.

1. Gary Nolan
2. Wayne Simpson
3. Jack Armstrong
4. Steve Foster
5. Brad Lesley

Just finished work and saw this post, and the first name that popped into my mind was Simpson's. If you'd asked me in 1970, I would have answered Wayne Granger. He was my favorite pitcher. I was one upset kid when the Yankess got him - who at the time were my most hated team...then 3 years later they got swept in the world series by some team or other.

And I was lucky enough to be there for one of those wins, the only win of four series games ('70, '72, '75 and '76) I ever saw.

Spitball
08-10-2012, 10:50 PM
, I would have answered Wayne Granger. He was my favorite pitcher. I was one upset kid when the Yankess got him - who at the time were my most hated team...then 3 years later they got swept in the world series by some team or other.
.

I don't think he was a Yankee very long. Btw,I still hate the Yankees.

RedsBaron
08-11-2012, 09:09 AM
Johnny Bench arguably should be on any list of top 5 Reds arms in my lifetime.
If the list is limited to pitchers, in no particular order I would include:
1. Aroldis Chapman-gotta have a guy who throws 106 mph
2. Jim Maloney-he threw in the high 90s as a starter
3. Gary Nolan-struck out Willie Mays 4 times in one game at age 19
4. Mario Soto-for about four years was as good as anyone
5. Rob Dibble-million dollar arm, ten cent brain

Chip R
08-11-2012, 10:30 AM
He pitched in the early 1980s for the Reds before being traded to the Mets for (I believe) Jay Tibbs. He threw hard but had high walk totals and not that impressive k/9 numbers.

I always thought they should have tried him in short relief.

RedsfaninMT
08-11-2012, 11:27 AM
I don't think he was a Yankee very long. Btw,I still hate the Yankees.

Just a year. And I will ALWAYS hate the Yankees, but the Cards have kind of taken over my feeling on the team I want the Reds to beat the most.

chicoruiz
08-11-2012, 12:00 PM
There should be some sort of sidebar in this category for guys like Borbon and Scott Sullivan, who had great arms in the sense of durability rather than velocity.

nate
08-11-2012, 12:03 PM
It's an interesting question. For my lifetime (since 1968,) maybe:

Jose Rijo
Gary Nolan
Bruce Berenyi
Don Gullett
Jim Maloney

I'd say Mario Soto is right there along with Tom Seaver.

Is it irony that Tom Browning's career FIP with the Reds is 4.20? :cool:

If you include all pitchers (and set a minimum of say, 100 IP,) perhaps:

Aroldis Chapman
Rob Dibble
Andy McGaffigan
Rawley Eastwick
Rob Murphy (check out 1986)

757690
08-11-2012, 12:19 PM
It's an interesting question. For my lifetime (since 1968,) maybe:

Jose Rijo
Gary Nolan
Bruce Berenyi
Don Gullett
Jim Maloney

I'd say Mario Soto is right there along with Tom Seaver.

Is it irony that Tom Browning's career FIP with the Reds is 4.20? :cool:

If you include all pitchers (and set a minimum of say, 100 IP,) perhaps:

Aroldis Chapman
Rob Dibble
Andy McGaffigan
Rawley Eastwick
Rob Murphy (check out 1986)

McGaffigan? Don't remember him having a great arm at all. Fill me in.

But I agree on leaving out Soto and Seaver, great pitchers, but not the best arms.

And it's poetic, not ironic, that Browning's FIP is 4.20 ;)

Kc61
08-11-2012, 12:29 PM
Three most dominant fastballs I've seen on the Reds, that I recall, are Maloney, Dibble, and Chapman.

Over an extended period, the two best starters were Soto and Rijo. That's my five.

Tom Seaver was the greatest pitcher I saw in a Reds uniform, but he's really a Met.

There are many, many Reds pitchers who had short term success with the team who I admired, started to list them all then gave up.

In addition to Chapman, I would give Mat Latos honorable mention on the current team. He has a tremendous arm, is a terrific, old school pitcher right now, hard throwing goes deep into games, and hopefully will be a Reds great over a number of years.

Scrap Irony
08-11-2012, 02:10 PM
Chapman's stuff is unfair.
Dibble was Chapman with a 12-year-old's id.
Rijo had Chapman's slider and better control.
Seaver had a great fastball, pinpoint control, and a great offspeed selection.
Williamson had an upper 90s fastball and a devastating slider, but lacked longevity.

RedlegJake
08-11-2012, 02:33 PM
Mario Soto
Johnny Cueto
Jim Maloney
Jose Rijo
Jim O'Toole
Bob Purkey
Don Gullet
Gary Nolan

An honorable mention goes to 2 guys who might have been better than all the rest had modern surgical procedures and arm health techniques been known in the late 60s (not to mention Jim Maloney's career would have have been extended another 6-7 years):
Wayne Simpson
Gary Nolan (even as it was Gary came back as a finesse guy and was a heckuva pitcher)

Tom would rank very high on the list except he is a Met in all his very bet years - he was definitely on the decline by the time he became a Red although he had a couple very good years with them:
Tom Seaver

And my rank of relievers in my lifetime:
Aroldis Chapman (not even close although he loses points for shortness of career so far)
Clay Carroll
Pedro Borbon
Rob Dibble
Billy McCool (threw as hard as Dibble but was used differently - 3-5 inning stints as normal for relievers then with spot starts, suffered wildness, too)

MikeS21
08-11-2012, 02:43 PM
What, no Cesar Geronimo?
Don't laugh. I personally witnessed Geronimo at Riverfront, pick up a ball ON the warning track in straight away CF, and throw it on a line to home plate and the catcher caught the ball at about head high. No cut-off man, no relay, no bounce. I was in awe.

marcshoe
08-11-2012, 05:34 PM
Don't laugh. I personally witnessed Geronimo at Riverfront, pick up a ball ON the warning track in straight away CF, and throw it on a line to home plate and the catcher caught the ball at about head high. No cut-off man, no relay, no bounce. I was in awe.

I'm not laughing. This was honestly the first name that popped into my head.

The best outfield arms I've ever seen were Geronimo, Clemente, and Ellis Valentine, who first amazed me when I saw him play in the minors. Since I was young when I saw those three, I really have no idea how they stack up with today's players.

Revering4Blue
08-11-2012, 05:49 PM
IIRC, Geronimo was originally a pitcher.

I would have liked to have witnessed Maloney and Simpson pitching. My only recollection of Simpson was at the tail end of his career with the Angels in '77.

I realize that it is difficult to compare players from different eras, but some have suggested that Maloney was--pre injury--even more dominating than Soto or Rijo. In the opinion of those who witnessed Maloney, is that accurate?

marcshoe
08-11-2012, 05:53 PM
I got to see Simpson pitch in AAA on his way down, in 1974 (I miss AAA baseball.) He looked good when I saw him, except he walked a bunch of guys. I was very young and my recollections are no doubt colored by seeing this guy who had pitched for the Reds a short time before close up.

RANDY IN INDY
08-11-2012, 06:37 PM
IIRC, Geronimo was originally a pitcher.

I would have liked to have witnessed Maloney and Simpson pitching. My only recollection of Simpson was at the tail end of his career with the Angels in '77.

I realize that it is difficult to compare players from different eras, but some have suggested that Maloney was--pre injury--even more dominating than Soto or Rijo. In the opinion of those who witnessed Maloney, is that accurate?

Maliney was more dominating than either of those guys when he was on. And, while one of the nicest guys that I have ever met, he had a bit of a "mean streak" to go along with that blazing fastball which was a very common trait of the power pitchers of that era.

George Anderson
08-11-2012, 08:26 PM
IIRC, Geronimo was originally a pitcher.

?

His only pitching stint was a couple innings in the Yankees organization.

Ghosts of 1990
08-11-2012, 08:50 PM
Chapman
Rijo
Williamson
2010 first half Volquez
Juan Guzman was pretty nasty for the Reds

HokieRed
08-11-2012, 09:44 PM
IIRC, Geronimo was originally a pitcher.

I would have liked to have witnessed Maloney and Simpson pitching. My only recollection of Simpson was at the tail end of his career with the Angels in '77.

I realize that it is difficult to compare players from different eras, but some have suggested that Maloney was--pre injury--even more dominating than Soto or Rijo. In the opinion of those who witnessed Maloney, is that accurate?

I've been watching the Reds for 57 years. In that time, Maloney was the most dominating Reds starter I've seen. And that's not to take anything away from Soto, Rijo, Gullett, Nolan, Seaver and so forth, all fine pitchers but not as dominating as Maloney.

cumberlandreds
08-11-2012, 09:55 PM
I'm not laughing. This was honestly the first name that popped into my head.

The best outfield arms I've ever seen were Geronimo, Clemente, and Ellis Valentine, who first amazed me when I saw him play in the minors. Since I was young when I saw those three, I really have no idea how they stack up with today's players.

Geronimo had the best arm on an outfielder for the Reds I have seen. Dave Parker had a great arm before he came to the Reds but it wasn't quite as good when got here.

Spitball
08-11-2012, 10:01 PM
I've been watching the Reds for 57 years. In that time, Maloney was the most dominating Reds starter I've seen. And that's not to take anything away from Soto, Rijo, Gullett, Nolan, Seaver and so forth, all fine pitchers but not as dominating as Maloney.

Maloney probably hit 100-plus mph many time between 1962 and 1966. He was generally considered the hardest thrower in baseball in those years before radar guns. Batters did not strikeout as often in those days, but Maloney still averaged about a K per inning in that span. He did throw a lot of pitches in those days before they started counting pitches. I have seen estimates that he threw about 185 pitches in his 10 inning no-hitter in 1965 in which he struck out 12 and walked 10 batters.

Vottomatic
08-11-2012, 10:45 PM
http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/pitch.shtml

Starters:
1. Maloney - 289 games, 258 starts, 3.16 career e.r.a.
2. Nolan - 245 games, 242 starts, 3.02 e.r.a.
T3. Gullett - 236 games, 156 starts, 3.03 e.r.a.
T3. Seaver - 158 games, 158 starts, 3.18 e.r.a.
4. Soto - 297 games, 224 starts, 3.47 e.r.a. - hardest luck starter I've ever witnessed
5. Rijo - 280 games, 215 starts, 2.83 e.r.a. - might be underrated on this list
6. Cueto - 139 games, 139 starts, 3.60 e.r.a.
7. Norman - 231 games, 196 starts, 3.43 e.r.a. - 5'-8" and 155 lbs.

Relievers: Probably not in any particular order other than Chapman being #1
1. Chapman
2. Dibble
3. Franco
4. Shaw
5. Carroll
6. Borbon
7. Myers/Charlton
8. Scott Sullivan
9. Brantley
10. Granger

HokieRed
08-12-2012, 10:57 AM
Geronimo had the best arm on an outfielder for the Reds I have seen. Dave Parker had a great arm before he came to the Reds but it wasn't quite as good when got here.

I'd put Cesar third on an outfield list beginning with Wally Post and with Guillen second. Agree about Parker, too. I'd made up a list of best arms among position players I've seen (excluding catchers) and it would be 1. Post, 2. Guillen, 3. McMillan, 4. Geronimon; 5. Lots of guys, including Parker

cincrazy
08-12-2012, 12:25 PM
I'd put Cesar third on an outfield list beginning with Wally Post and with Guillen second. Agree about Parker, too. I'd made up a list of best arms among position players I've seen (excluding catchers) and it would be 1. Post, 2. Guillen, 3. McMillan, 4. Geronimon; 5. Lots of guys, including Parker

I would put Vlad Guerrero ahead of Guillen, but that's just me. I was never able to see any of the other players in person, or even on television. I remember from my childhood being at a Reds-Expos game, and Guerrero throwing an absolute ROPE from close to the warning track to home plate on the fly. That guy had a cannon. Jeff Francoeur also has an incredible arm.

Always Red
08-12-2012, 02:52 PM
I would put Vlad Guerrero ahead of Guillen, but that's just me. I was never able to see any of the other players in person, or even on television. I remember from my childhood being at a Reds-Expos game, and Guerrero throwing an absolute ROPE from close to the warning track to home plate on the fly. That guy had a cannon. Jeff Francoeur also has an incredible arm.

Speaking of Expos, I remember Ellis Valentine having a great arm back in the 70's.

RedsManRick
08-12-2012, 04:07 PM
Just thinking in terms fo guys who I'd watch pitch and go "whoa"...

1. Chapman
2. Dibble
3. Williamson
4. Rijo
5. Volquez

Some honorable mentions to guys who I just liked to watch: Aaron Harang, Scott Sullivan, Norm Charlton, Bronson Arroyo and Johnny Cueto

HokieRed
08-12-2012, 05:25 PM
I would put Vlad Guerrero ahead of Guillen, but that's just me. I was never able to see any of the other players in person, or even on television. I remember from my childhood being at a Reds-Expos game, and Guerrero throwing an absolute ROPE from close to the warning track to home plate on the fly. That guy had a cannon. Jeff Francoeur also has an incredible arm.

I was just listing Reds. Guerrero was great but nobody was better than Clemente.

RedsBaron
08-12-2012, 05:44 PM
I was just listing Reds. Guerrero was great but nobody was better than Clemente.

Roberto Clemente had the greatest arm of any outfielder I have ever seen.

RANDY IN INDY
08-12-2012, 05:56 PM
Roberto Clemente had the greatest arm of any outfielder I have ever seen.

Agree, and yet, I bet that today, some "genius" would try to fix him as he didn't always throw with "proper" form. I saw him throw guys out sidearm from the outfield, but when he really had to let one fly, it was a thing of beauty.

cumberlandreds
08-13-2012, 07:23 AM
Roberto Clemente had the greatest arm of any outfielder I have ever seen.

Agree with this. Even though its been a long time ago I can still remember some throws he made against the Orioles in the 71 World Series. He had a cannon that had supreme accuracy.

Hollcat
08-13-2012, 10:03 AM
There should be some sort of sidebar in this category for guys like Borbon and Scott Sullivan, who had great arms in the sense of durability rather than velocity.

If this sidebar exists I would think Arroyo would be part of it too.

lollipopcurve
08-13-2012, 10:08 AM
I was alive while Maloney and Simpson threw for the Reds, but I did not get to see them much. I'll go with Dibble, Soto, Chapman, Rijo, Gullett. Tough call for those of us who have seen a few decades.

RedsManRick
08-13-2012, 11:37 AM
Agree, and yet, I bet that today, some "genius" would try to fix him as he didn't always throw with "proper" form. I saw him throw guys out sidearm from the outfield, but when he really had to let one fly, it was a thing of beauty.

I'm always curious, is the standardization of mechanics really that much more common today? From Tim Lincecum to Kevin Youkilis, it seems like there are plenty of guys who do it their own way. I'm sure there were plenty of guys back in the day who has their uniqueness ironed out of them by a hard-line coach, but who we just never heard of unless they made it to the show anyways.

Obviously I don't' have a great sense on how much variation there was among guys back 30+ years ago, but I'd sure there has always been a tendency to "fix" guys who do things differently. How common were guys who did things uniquely back in the day Randy, compared to today? If there's one funky guy per team today, did it used to be 3? 5? 10?

Scrap Irony
08-13-2012, 11:54 AM
The Reds haven't tinkered with Frazier's swing, which is really unorthodox.

I think, for the most part, if a guy shows how good he is at something repeatedly, they won't mess with it. Clemente's arm was good enough that no one would have considered (IMO) messing with it.

Why would you?

RANDY IN INDY
08-13-2012, 12:11 PM
I'm always curious, is the standardization of mechanics really that much more common today? From Tim Lincecum to Kevin Youkilis, it seems like there are plenty of guys who do it their own way. I'm sure there were plenty of guys back in the day who has their uniqueness ironed out of them by a hard-line coach, but who we just never heard of unless they made it to the show anyways.

Obviously I don't' have a great sense on how much variation there was among guys back 30+ years ago, but I'd sure there has always been a tendency to "fix" guys who do things differently. How common were guys who did things uniquely back in the day Randy, compared to today? If there's one funky guy per team today, did it used to be 3? 5? 10?

Probably more tinkering with swings, today, than anything else. Golf is much the same way.

The reality is that where most of it starts is with kids at a young age who are probably "over coached" today, as opposed to thirty years ago. To give you one example, we had a kid when I was in Charlotte who threw almost exclusively sidearm when he was 7-9 years old. He had a very strong arm and was very accurate to boot. Parents took him to nearly every pitching instructor in Charlotte over the years until he was 13, trying to make a pitcher out of him. They all tried to make the kid throw straight over the top and he could not throw a ball in the ocean that way. He became very frustrated and gave up on pitching. I had him, again, when he was 13 and I asked him one day in practice if he would like to pitch. He said, "I don't think so, coach Randy. We know how that goes." I said, "No, I'm talking about sidearm?" He immediately broke out into a smile as if someone had given him a Christmas present and we worked for a couple of weeks. He became very effective and really contributed as a relief pitcher on our team that year. The main pitching instructor at our organization came by and said, "Does he always throw that way?" I said, "He used to but everyone always tried to "fix" him. I let him go back to what was natural." He looked at me and said, "I'm glad someone has some balls around here. I like it!"

It's almost a racket with instructors. They know if they break something, people will keep coming back. Money in their pockets. Most put everyone in their own little box of "the right way," and won't deviate. A lot of them end up screwing up and frustrating more kids than they help. It's pretty sad when you see kids in tears because they cannot do it "the right way." My theory has always been to look at what a kid brings to the table, skill and body wise, and try to tweak it to make it the best it can be. Sometimes the phrase, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," is the best advice. When you see a guy teaching out of a book, run. Run far away.