Advanced stats offer something rare as far as the Reds 2016 pitching staff is concerned: Good news.
They’re not the worst staff of all time!
Unless you depend on one particular method of evaluation, in which case they are at least very close.
If you’re confused, allow us to sort it out.
FiveThiryEight.com writes that Fangraphs found that with only a few games left in the season, the 2016 Reds pitching staff has performed worse than any other since 1901 as far as WAR (wins above replacement) is concerned.
What’s more, Cincinnati hurlers are collectively worse than a theoretical staff of completely average players, something that can be said of no other modern era staff.
That nugget is derived from Fangraphs’ model, which relies on fielding independent pitching numbers.
However, if looking at the Reds through the lens of Baseball-Reference.com, which give pitchers some credit for pitching in front of bad defense, the numbers aren’t quite so bad.
In fact, there are three teams this season alone that have been worse than the Reds.
How’s that for a surprise?