By: Mike Vukovcan

Pittsburgh (KDKA)- The Pittsburgh Pirates are in Cincinnati to start a two game series with the first place Reds. Yes, I said the first place Cincinnati Reds. I bet no one there is talking about the market size.

The Reds start tonight with a record of 25-17 following last night’s 7-5 comeback win over Chicago.

The Reds now hold a 1.5 game lead over second place St. Louis.

This is the second consecutive season now that they’re in the hunt for a playoff spot in the NL Central.

How have they gotten it right and the Pirates are looking at 19 consecutive losing seasons?

Let’s take a look at how this Reds team was put together.


1B: Joey Votto- Reds 2nd round pick in 2002
2B: Brandon Phillips- Acquired from the Indians for player to be named later (RHP Jeff Stevens)
SS: Paul Janish- Reds 5th round pick in 2004
3B: Scott Rolen- Acquired from Toronto for 3B Edwin Encarnacion
C: Ramon Hernandez- Acquired from Baltimore for INF Ryan Freel
OF: Jay Bruce- Reds 1st round pick in 2005
OF: Drew Stubbs- Reds 1st round pick in 2006
OF: Jonny Gomes- Signed as minor league free agent in 2009

SP: Edinson Volquez- Acquired from Texas in 2007 for OF Josh Hamilton
SP: Johnny Cueto- Product of the Reds farm system
SP: Homer Bailey- Reds 1st round pick in 2004
SP: Bronson Arroyo- Acquired from Boston for OF Willy Mo Pena
SP: Travis Wood- Reds 2nd round pick in 2005

Closer: Francisco Cordero- Signed as free agent (4 years, $46 million, most expensive deal signed by relief pitcher) in 2007

Setup Man- Nick Masset- Acquired from Chicago in 2008 for Ken Griffey, Jr.

I could list all of the mistakes Cam Bonifay, Dave Littlefield and current GM Neal Huntington have made over the last 19 years but what’s the point.

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