August 10, 2017
Finding New Ways to Stink
Here are two things that are true about the 2016 and 2017 Reds. One is that their record is one of the worst in baseball. That’s irrefutable. Through Tuesday, the Reds are 45-66. Their .405 winning percentage is the third-lowest in the National League, better than only the Giants and Phillies. Last year, they were 68-94, tied with the Padres for the worst record in the league.
The second thing that’s true about both the 2016 and 2017 Reds is that their pitching staff is bad. Last year, the Reds had an ERA of 4.91, 13th in the league. Or, if you prefer a pitching statistic that’s more process-driven than output-driven, their DRA was 5.14, also 13th. This year? It’s even worse. They’re last in ERA, 5.22, and last in DRA, 5.80. Their WARP is -4.5, which means that Reds pitchers have cost the club four-and-a-half wins relative to replacement-level hurlers.
So you could look at the Reds and say, “Bad team, bad pitching staff.” And you’d be right. But you’d be missing an interesting part of the story. Well, interesting to you and me, maybe not so much if you’re a Reds player or a Reds fan or part of Reds management. Let me summarize it in a table: