I've tried to include notes below each table about the meaning of some of the more obscure statistics, and many of these stats are discussed in detail in my player value series (see sidebar). But if you have questions please do not hesitate to ask!
NL Central Update
Since I last checked in, the Reds went 5-7 (0.417), but it feels like things went even worse...they have regained the title of worst offense in the division, though thanks to slippage by Houston's pitching staff, their defense now ranks (a distant) 4th.....Meanwhile, the Cubs have the best record in baseball, top the division in both offense and defense, and remain on pace to break the 100-win plateau...the Cardinals continue to surprise, though Pythagoras thinks they have four wins more than they should.....Milwaukee's resurgence seems to have stalled.....Houston had a very bad week and a half, going 2-9 to drop from 3rd to 5th place.....
The Reds' team linear weights total 320 runs, which is 9 more than they've actually scored (both numbers park adjusted).....Dunn continues to be the Reds' most valuable hitter by a considerable margin.....Votto overtook a slumping Phillips for the second spot....Jerry Hairston's rate of production has actually been equal to Dunn's this season, based on linear weights...Dunn does it with walks and homers, while Hairston does it with singles and doubles...when the latter equal the former in total number of bases, they're more valuable...PrOPS thinks he's overachieved though, so look for Hairston to return to earth when he returns.....It apparently is possible to get Jay Bruce out now and then, but he's still having a heck of a first month in the big leagues.....Encarnacion has been hot these last two weeks, but unless he goes on an extended tear, his first half is going to be very disappointing.....
Total Player Value (Hitting + Fielding)
Overall, the Reds' fielding sums to -3 runs vs. average, which is an uptick of 4 runs in the past week and a half...THT's team plus/minus fielding stat agrees, which might make one think that this might be real...most of it comes from a bump to Phillips's numbers, and a huge swing in Patterson's numbers in CF...The former I"ll believe, but the latter is probably more of an indication how shaky these fielding numbers can be, especially in the outfield.....Anyway, thanks to a nice bump in his fielding numbers, Phillips overtook Dunn as the Reds most valuable position player.....a league average starter should have 8.8 RAR by now, so the Reds can only boast 5 guys who have clearly been above average players.....Hey, it's mid-June, and Griffey is still rated as a replacement player.
Let's see, good 2008 Reds pitching performances: Volquez, Harang, Cordero, Burton... and umm... Bray? If you believe his peripherals (and I do), Arroyo has been ok.....Cueto's K/BB rates continue to be pretty good, but his Milton-esque proclivity for long flies is killing him.....There's recently been calls for his dismissal, but I have to say that Lincoln's GB% and other peripherals are encouraging, despite that scary HR/F%.....Finally, it's hard to imagine a worse return than Homer Bailey's...his velocity is down, he hasn't been striking people out, and he's still walking a ton...I know they say he's not injured, but he hid an injury last year...I just can't get over the feeling that there must be something wrong with him...how many 22-year olds lose 2-3 mph of velocity for no apparent reason? ... I would not think many, though apparently something similar is happening with both Justin Verlander and Jeremy Bonderman, so maybe I'm wrong.
Overall, the Reds' base runs total 352 runs, which is 3 more than they've actually allowed. Combining this number with the lwts-estimated 320 runs scored and plugging into the pythagorean equation gives an estimated winning percentage of 0.453 (32-39), which means the Reds are unfortunately about a win better than expected. Getting trounced 9-0 will do that to your run differential, though. Figures that the one game I get a chance to see since April turns out to be such a stinker....
I have to admit, unless the Reds score some nice returns from the guys on the trading block, it's not shaping up to be a very interesting rest of the season.
Thanks to the Hardball Times, who supplied most of the data used to generate the above reports. ZR data came from ESPN.com.