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Former Reds Find Both Fortune and Misfortune in the 2015 Pennant Race

by Doug Poe

posted in Recreation and Sports

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The Cincinnati Reds may not be in the pennant chase, but over a dozen of the organization's former players are contributors to teams likely headed for the playoffs. Most of them are probably glad to be away from Cincinnati, given that they are playing important games in September. Believe it or not, however, there are a few who, in spite of being on a contending team, probably wish they were still with the Reds.
Here are sixteen of the ex-Reds who are glad to be in a pennant race and out of Cincinnati:
Edwin Encarnacion
The Toronto cleanup hitter has become one of the most prolific sluggers in Major League Baseball since the Reds gave up on him and traded him to the Blue Jays.
Dioneer Navarro
The catcher's tenure with the Reds was brief, but he has certainly come up with some big hits in limited playing time for the Blue Jays.
Yasmani Grandal
Cincinnati took the catcher in the first round a few years ago, and now in Los Angeles he is calling games with battery mates like Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greineke.
Edinson Volquez
The Reds gave up Josh Hamilton for the starting pitcher in what seemed like a one-sided trade for Texas. Hamilton had an MVP season before off-the-field issues sidelined him, while Volquez became an ace after being acquired by Kansas City.
Didi Gregorius
It would be tough to replace a legend like Derek Jeter, but Gregorius has done just that. He anchors an infield that has the Yankees headed for the postseason.
Jonathan Broxton
Several stops after leaving the Reds, the veteran reliever is a key contributor to a St. Louis that boasts the best record in the National League.
Shin soo Choo
The outfielder had a career year with Cincinnati in 2013, but the team suffered a losing record. As a Texas Ranger, he has experienced a pennant race for the first time.
Jonny Gomes
The well-liked outfielder helped the Reds reach the postseason for the first time in a decade, only to be shipped out. Several stops later, he finds himself with the defending American League champions in Kansas City.
David Ross
Mostly a backup catcher, he has always had some pop in his bat. What brought him to Chicago, where he is in the middle of a pennant chase, was his ability to catch free agent starter Jon Lester.
Travis Wood
He came within just three outs of pitching a perfect game for the Reds, who soon after traded him to the Cubs for Sean Marshall. He has been a jack-of-all-trades for the Chicago staff, occasionally starting and at other times working in long relief.
Chris Denorfia
He was popular during his brief stint in Cincinnati, his home before landing in San Diego. Dealt to the Cubs at the trade deadline, the outfielder's versatility was welcomed in the Windy City.
Now, here are five former Reds who are probably not enjoying themselves, despite being in a pennant chase.
Johnny Cueto
Kansas City could not wait to get the ace of the Cincinnati staff, a twenty game winner in 2014. They finally nabbed him at the trade deadline, but he has not been anything like the ace the Royals expected.
Mat Latos
Anthony Disclafani, the player the Reds received for Latos last winter, has become Cincinnati's ace. Latos struggled with Miami and was sent to Los Angeles, where he was released before the Dodgers started their chase for the pennant.
Drew Stubbs
The once highly praised Reds outfielder has fallen on hard times since Cincinnati sent him to Cleveland, who promptly sent him to Colorado. He is currently with the Royals, but it is highly unlikely that he will make their postseason roster.
Jeff Francis
The tall lefty has become a journeyman since leaving Cincinnati, and his latest team is the hottest in baseball. Unfortunately, Francis has had limited opportunity in Toronto.
Chris Heisey
The fourth outfielder for several seasons in Cincinnati received a lot of playing time because of injuries and slumps, but the Reds sent him to the Dodgers last winter. Being a fourth outfielder with his old team would be a much better gig than the one he has in Los Angeles, where he has spent almost the whole season in the minors.
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