2001 Cincinnati Reds season

10 03 2015

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The Reds fired Jack McKeon as skipper of the club the day after the 2000 season ended, but aside from that the 2000/2001 offseason was far more quiet for the Reds than the previous year had been.  They hired Bob Boone as his replacement, thus Boone got the chance to manage his son Aaron.  The team had some free agent movement, but most of their larger moves had been made the year before when they traded away Dante Bichette and Denny Neagle.  The Reds had high hopes for catching prospect Jason LaRue – they let Benito Santiago walk via free agency and traded away Eddie Taubensee.  Steve Parris was traded; he had been the team leader in wins and innings the year before, but a 12-17 record wasn’t something to get too excited about.  The Reds signed Deion Sanders as a free agent after he had (temporarily) retired from the NFL, though he only played 29 games and was released after hitting .173.

Unfortunately the Reds 2001 season was defined by injuries more than anything.  Former Rookie of the Year Scott Williamson needed Tommy John surgery after pitching only 2 games.  Starter Pete Harnisch was limited to just 7 starts due to injury.  Barry Larkin played in only 45 games due to a groin injury.  And Ken Griffey Jr. missed the first 65 games of the year due to a torn left hamstring.

The Reds did trade for Todd Walker when it was clear that Larkin wasn’t going to be able to play a full season.  Pokey Reese moved to shortstop and Walker became the team’s 2nd baseman.  With that move and the team’s young talent, the offense was still pretty productive.  However the pitching was the worst in the National League outside of Coors Field, and the Reds’ 2001 season was a struggle to say the least.  They finished 66-96, with only the Pirates having a worse record in the entire National League.

Young Adam Dunn may have been the highlight of the season – he was called up in late July and hit 19 homers in 66 games.  Dmitri Young hit .302 and Sean Casey hit .310 and was the Reds lone All-Star representative.  In the limited playing time he had, Griffey did lead the Reds with 22 homers.

The pitching rotation just wasn’t good at all.  Only one pitcher posted double digits in wins – Elmer Dessens got his 10th win in his second to last start of the year.  Lance Davis went 8-4 in 20 starts; he was the only Red with a winning record out of the starting rotation.  Danny Graves had an off year at closer, with a 4.15 ERA and 7 blown saves.  Scott sullivan had a decent year out of relief, going 7-1 with a 3.31 ERA.

Team MVP: Ken Griffey Jr. (.286/22/65)

Best Pitcher: Elmer Dessens (10-14/4.48/128)

Award Winners:

none

All-Stars:

Sean Casey

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