2013 Reds

Cincinnati Reds Pitching WAR

The Reds have pitched the 2013 season with 20 different arms (compared to just 17 last year.) Eight different pitchers have made at least one start this year while another 12 were used exclusively in relief appearances.

The table below summarizes the season’s statistics (through 8/17) for these 20 pitchers, ranked by WAR. Some items worth noting:

– After having five different starters make all but one start last year, the Reds still had 4 different pitchers make at least 30 starts this season.

– Looking at all MLB pitchers, Mat Latos and Homer Bailey rank 9th and 17th, respectively, in fWAR.

– The pitching staff is still very young.

– If you extrapolate LeCure’s and Hoover’s WAR out to the number of innings the starters threw, they’d have a WAR slightly better than Mike Leake.

– Adjusted for innings pitched, Aroldis Chapman has the best WAR on the team.

– Manny Parra has struck out more than 11 batters per nine innings, the highest rate of his career.

I think it is pretty clear that the pitchers on the playoff roster come from the top 12 on this list. As Steve posed yesterday, if the Reds go with 11 pitchers (in the NLDS/NLCS/WS rounds) there is a tough decision to be made about who is left off the roster.

# Name (Age) G/GS IP ERA FIP’ WHIP BABIP HR/9 BB/9 K/9 WAR’
1 Mat Latos (25) 30/30 197.2 3.14 3.24 1.21 .301 0.5 2.5 8.2 4.2
2 Homer Bailey (27) 30/30 198.1 3.40 3.16 1.11 .291 0.8 2.1 8.8 3.9
3 Mike Leake (25) 30/30 190.2 3.21 3.97 1.22 .277 0.9 2.3 5.7 2.7
4 Bronson Arroyo (36) 30/30 192.1 3.56 3.99 1.13 .270 1.2 1.5 5.6 2.5
5 Tony Cingrani (23) 23/18 104.2 2.92 3.65 1.10 .241 1.2 3.7 10.3 1.9
6 Aroldis Chapman (25) 64 59.2 2.56 2.28 1.04 .287 1.1 3.9 15.8 1.7
7 Johnny Cueto (27) 10/10 53.2 3.02 3.41 1.08 .252 1.0 2.5 7.7 1.0
8 Sam LeCure (29) 59 57 2.84 3.18 1.21 .290 0.6 3.6 9.8 1.0
9 J.J. Hoover (25) 63 61 2.95 3.70 1.12 .245 0.9 3.5 9.3 0.9
10 Manny Parra (30) 51 41.2 3.46 3.02 1.25 .317 1.1 3.2 11.4 0.5
11 Alfredo Simon (32) 58 78 3.23 4.05 1.08 .243 0.9 2.4 6.8 0.4
12 Sean Marshall (30) 12 8 2.25 1.98 0.75 .211 0.0 2.3 10.1 0.2
13 Nick Christiani (25) 2 3 0.00 6.53 0.67 .000 0.0 6.0 3.0 0.1
14 Zach Duke (30) 9 5.2 1.59 3.39 0.71 .188 1.6 0.0 6.4 0.1
15 Justin Freeman (26) 1 1 18.00 11.61 2.00 .250 9.0 0.0 0.0 -0.1
16 Logan Ondrusek (28) 46 48 4.13 4.07 1.31 .284 1.3 3.0 7.7 -0.1
17 Greg Reynolds (27) 4/3 20.2 5.66 4.88 1.4 .307 1.3 1.3 3.5 -0.2
18 Jonathan Broxton (29) 34 30.2 4.11 4.60 1.27 .261 1.2 3.5 7.3 -0.4
19 Pedro Villarreal (25) 2/1 5.2 12.71 9.27 2.82 .429 6.4 4.8 6.4 -0.4
20 Curtis Partch (26) 13 21.1 6.75 7.83 1.55 .161 3.4 6.8 6.3 -0.7

All statistics above are from either Baseball-reference.com or Fangraphs.com.


FIP’ is an average of FIP and xFIP.

WAR’ is an average of fWAR (Fangraphs) and rWAR (Baseball-Refence). The two websites calculate this statistic slightly differently, so I’ve used the average.

Go to Fangraphs.com glossary for an excellent, brief primer on WAR. Wins Above Replacement (WAR) is an attempt by the sabermetric baseball community to summarize a player’s total contributions to their team in one statistic. You should always use more than one metric at a time when evaluating players, but WAR is pretty darn all-inclusive and provides a handy reference point. WAR basically looks at a player and asks the question, “If this player got injured and their team had to replace them with a minor leaguer or someone from their bench, how much value would the team be losing?” This value is expressed in a wins format, so we could say that Player X is worth +6.3 wins to their team while Player Y is only worth +3.5 wins.

49 thoughts on “Cincinnati Reds Pitching WAR

  1. As well as he has pitched this season, with a healthy Marshall and Cueto, Leake is the one I’d leave off. He’s historically been bad out of the BP and we won’t need 5 starters. Cingrani is a much better option out of the BP. Leake would add some value off the bench with his bat, but not nearly enough to make an argument for replacing another BP arm.

    I’m just glad Big Brox is done for the season so it wouldn’t muddy up the playoff roster picture anymore. Because at this point I would probably take Zach Duke over him.

    • @hotto4votto: While I agree with you about Leake, it’ll be interesting to see how this ball club views turning back a guy who just had a career year. Imagine Dusty as a player considering what it would have felt like to post his best numbers and get turned down.

      Plus… the way this team finds itself in extra inning games upon extra innings games, they may as well go for the extra pitcher!

  2. I just hope somebody highlights Ondrusek’s numbers and shows this to Dusty. He has a soft spot for Ondru-the-Giant, and I’ve spent the last two games wondering whether Ondru will make the postseason roster due to it.

  3. Plus, if we learned from the S.F. series last year, the team may not actually pitch Aroldis, so you could leave him off to make room for someone. 8O

  4. After reviewing the chart provided by Greg, I’m sending a big Kudos shout out to Dusty for limiting the innings (with the exception of Simon) for the relievers. The stress of pitching 80-90+ innings as a reliever can really take a lot out of a pitcher’s arm, both during a season and during a career. That was a significant challenge with so few innings available from Marshall and Broxton this season.

    That doesn’t excuse Dusty’s misuse of the relief corp, but it does speak to his real concern for the players.

  5. Good stuff.

    Slightly off topic, but during last night’s game did anyone else hear FSO admit that they hate their audience? It’s the only explanation for why, in this crucial series vs the Pirates, they’re subjecting us to Sean Casey in the booth. Normally I’d just switch to the other team’s broadcasters, but, well, those Pirate guys are tough to take at the best of times.

    Over/under on the number of Reds batters HBP? I don’t think the Pirates have learned to stay focused on playing the game, so I expect chippiness, especially if we take the first game.

    • @Eric the Red: The Old Cossack had completely ignored (aka forgotten) the HPB factor going into this series. Latos and Bailey are leading off for the pitching staff and several position players (ahem…BP) have reason reason to have their panties in a wad after the earlier games with the Bucos. I can see an edge to the players during this series and Hurdle will certainly do anything he can to stoke that fire. At least we have Dusty to counter with plenty of toothpicks for his contribution for fuel to the fire.

    • @Eric the Red: That is cruel but fair about Casey. I actually like Grande, because when I met him at random one day, he was the exact same cordial, hale-fellow-well-met that he sounds like on TV.

      The option of listening to Jeff Brantley do radio play-by-play is even more horrifying.

      I watched the entire game last night, save about 10 minutes with the dog, and have the bleary eyes to prove it. Kelch and Welsh by far make the best tandem.

  6. Where’s the love for Mike Leake??

    Latos: 30GS, 14-6, 197.2IP, 185H, 69ER, 12HR, 54BB, 179K, 1.21WHIP, 3.14ERA.
    Leake: 30GS, 14-6, 190.2IP, 185H, 68ER, 20HR, 48BB, 120K, 1.22 WHIP, 3.21 ERA.
    Nearly identical.

    I watched the end of the Pirates/Padres game last night, going back and forth with the Reds game. That was a very demoralizing loss for the Pirates last night. The players were kind of in shock standing around after the game in the dugout wondering what had hit them. It was great. That kind of loss can have a hangover effect for today and this weekend. I’m trying to decide whether to risk the rain and drive up to Pitt for Saturday’s game and Bailey pitching. Anyone else contemplating the trip?? Alot of rain is in the forecast.

      • @Shchi Cossack: Yep. Momentum is extremely overrated in sports. One needs to look no further than the numerous times the Cardinals have won and/or swept series in Cincy over the past few years and how we were so demoralized that we reeled off a bunch of wins right after

      • @reaganspad: There is no way I would trade Mike Leake. Look at his numbers above, and then realize how much cheaper he would be to resign to a long term contract than Latos would be. He’s a poor mans Bronson Arroyo and I’d love to see him in a Reds uniform for the next 10 years. Plus hes a managable pinch hitter and pinch runner which only adds to his value.

        • @TedTappett: Hey Ted. WVRedlegs comments on the same thing below.

          You trade Leake because he is good and financially under control. That exactly what teams look for in trading. You use him to go get a bat.

          You have Latos, Bailey, Cingrani, Cueto and Chapman to start. Leake is not better than any of those 5 and is a waste on our bench, but could be packaged to help bring us back a bat. Plus we get extra picks for Bronson (if he signs his arb, we have to trade Leake) and Choo.

          We have plenty of pitchers for the Pen

        • @reaganspad: I get all that, and it most definitely isn’t wrong, but….I think that in the long run, a guy like Mike Leake would be great to have on your team. Of the 5 starters you mentioned, two are in the middle of years where they are battling injuries (Cueto and Cingrani) one spends his gamedays outside the outfield wall waiting for the 9th inning with a 1-3 run lead (Chapman) and of the other two (Latos & Bailey), only one can be kept. With that in mind, I say keep Mike Leake. Or don’t, either way, we’re in a good position.

    • @WVRedlegs: I like Mike Leake plenty. He’s had a very good year, easily the best of his career.

      Since W-L record is so heavily influenced on run support, I don’t tend to look at that too often.

      Run Support/9 while pitcher was in the game:
      Arroyo: 4.8
      Leake: 4.7
      Latos: 4.4
      Bailey: 3.9

      The FIP & xFIP numbers indicate what his future ERA would look like if he continues to pitch as he has in aggregate for the numbers he’s put up this season. That would indicate that, on average, Bailey and Latos would give up about 3 runs per game while Leake and Arroyo would give up closer to 4 runs per game.

      I think an argument could be made that Homer has been the best starter on the squad this season. He has the highest K/rate, lowest BB/rate, lowest WHIP. He and Latos are both tied for 2nd in QS% (67%). Arroyo is first at 73%. Leake is 53%. (League average is 53%.)

      • @Greg Dafler:

        Sorry. I didn’t think you had slighted Leake. I should have clarified that.
        I was just asking to those who still want to trade him, or leave him off the post season roster. I don’t think there is any justification in leaving him off any post season roster this year.
        And I completely agree with you about Bailey.

      • @Greg Dafler: Thanks Greg,

        Nothing like Stats to illuminate exactly what I am feeling. Your % of quality starts is telling. I like Mike Leake, but he does not miss bats, and he is vulnerable when the ump does not call his kind of game.

        We talk about Good Bronson or Bad Bronson in this blog a lot. Good Bronson at 73% is preferable to Good Mike at 53%.

    • @WVRedlegs: Leake is having a great year for him, but to say that the numbers are “nearly identical” when he’s given up 20 HRs to Latos’s 12, and struck out 60 fewer batters, that seems like a stretch.

      Striking guys out and not giving up HRs is a great way to keep your ERA low. Not striking guys out and giving up a solid amount of HRs (while walking the same amount of guys and giving up the same amount of hits) is not a good way to keep your ERA low. That’s why people have said that Leake has been lucky this year.

  7. Looking ahead to next season: if Arroyo leaves in free agency as expected and Cingrani replaces him in the rotation, I hope we add a veteran arm as a #6 starter. As this year has shown, Villareal and Reynolds are horrible. As it stands, it sounds like we have talented SP in A/AA, but no one ready to step in to MLB next year if need be.

    • @CincyGuy:

      I was thinking about Arroyo’s future last night.
      A random thought on an off-day: What has more value to the Reds organization and/or the 2014 Reds team? The answer might differ from the oranization to 2014 team. One more year of Arroyo in the starting rotation? Or the possible 1st round comp/supplemental (or whatever its called now) pick? The assumption here would be the Reds make a qualifying offer and Arroyo turns it down, thus giving them the extra pick in a draft that is projected to be very deep in rounds 1-2.

      • @WVRedlegs: i hope the reds do make him a QO. if he accepts, the reds have a really solid rotation for next year as some of the younger prospects advance.

        probably he doesn’t accept, and takes a 3 year deal to play somewhere like SF, and we get the pick.

    • @CincyGuy: stephenson isn’t that far away probably. i like reynolds actually, i think he can be good, but i’m in the minority on that one.

  8. Mike Leake’s peripheral stats — at least the ones he controls — aren’t much different from previous years. His strikeout rate continues to decline and his walk rate has increased. He hasn’t increased his ground ball rate.

    So why has his ERA been so much lower this year? It can be explained by being lucky with balls put in play (.277 compared to career .291), luckier with runners stranded (78% compared to career and league average 74%), and luckier with fly balls becoming home runs (11.2% compared to career 13.7%).

    His advanced metrics (FIP, xFIP and SIERA) for 2013 are all right around or slightly above his career ERA.

    I adore the way Mike Leake plays baseball and I love watching him do it. But it’s wrong to think that he’s reached a new, better level this season. If the Reds can find a trading partner who believes otherwise, it makes sense to move him.

  9. Walt Weiss manages his bullpen very similar to Dusty, too little, too late, but be sure to shut the bard door after the horses are already out. Unlike Dusty, Weiss doesn’t have a lot of good choices regarding his bullpen management. He only has 2 relief pitchers with an ERA under 4.00 and no relief pitchers with a WHIP under 1.20.

  10. Man, them Dirty Birds are hard to kill. Rockies had 13 hits in the first five innings but couldn’t put the Cards away. Now St. Louis leads 5-4.

  11. How much WAR does Marty get for “pitching” the best players on this team constantly under the bus? I ask because Reds.com says there’ll be at least 3 more years of him. Joy.

  12. 6-6 in the 12th

    Tulo! clap clap, Tulo! clap clap, Tulo

    Sorry, I was in Denver for the Rockies series. He just made the 3rd out in the field. 8,9 and 1 for the Rox coming up

  13. Rockies give up an out on a failed sacrifice bunt in the 13th inning. Both teams have used nine pitchers. Runner on first and second for Colorado, one (stupid failed bunt) out.

  14. Rox in 15!

    Dickerson’s walk-off triple ends 15-inning marathon
    Todd Helton’s ninth-inning homer sent the game to extra innings and six frames later, Corey Dickerson gave the Rockies a win with a walk-off triple in a 7-6 win over the Cardinals Thursday at Coors Field.

  15. After the off day for the Reds yesterday, games are all synched up in the NL race, with the exception of the Braves, with 9 games to play before the wildcard playin game. After 153 games completed (152 for the Braves), the Reds are 2.0 games behind the Birds, 1.0 games behind the Bucos and 5.0 games ahead of the Nats. The Reds also trail the Dodgers by 1.0 games loss and the Braves by 4 losses.

    The Reds are in Pittsburgh this weekend for 3 with the Bucos and the Birds are in Milwaukee this weekend for 3 with the Brew Crew (who claimed Josh Ravin off waivers from the Reds). The only thing that matters is winning games at this point. The Reds can’t do anything about any other team except the Bucos. A sunami-like surge (7 of 9 or better) by the Reds heading into the post season might make the season feel better, but right now it feels like the Reds are backing into the bottom rung of the playoffs. That makes the season feel disappointing to this point after the high expectations to start the season.

  16. Cueto needs 2 more starts and Marshall needs 4 more appearances during the final 9 games if they are going to be ready to contribute in the post season. The post season roster will really be dictated by the health of 3 pitchers: Cingrani, Cueto & Marshall. Cueto and Marshall are healthy or they are not healthy, so their status will be clearly determined over the last 9 games. Cingrani is probably the most problematic since his recent injury issues prevent any contributions as a starter heading into the post season and his role as a reliever is also questionable due to the limited time and opportunities before the end of the regular season.

  17. I don’t think Bronson get QO…he is gone.The thought of Bronson or Leake starting a playoff games scares me…I want to see electric stuff from our pitchers in post season,these guys excel at “fooling” hitters,great regular season guys but I would leave BOTH off playoff roster unless there is an injury to Cueto and or Cingrani…..Marshall goes if healthy….zack only makes it if he is not…..just MY opinion

    • @Bruno:

      …unless there is an injury to Cueto and or Cingrani…

      There is an injury to Cingrani and he reaggravated it his last time out. He might fill a short relief role on the post season roster, but considering Cingrani for a starting role on the post season roster this season would be a disaster in progress.

  18. Some saying Leake won’t make the post season roster. I think he would, in the pen, though. First, nothing is sure about anything. Cueto has pitched one game back. The last time this happened, this season, the next game was Cueto’s last game. We need to make sure he and Marshall are even still “up to the job”. If they are, then the decision can really get difficult. However, I still believe Leake will make the post season roster. I believe he will be a long man out of the pen. If as manager, I would look to use Cingrani first for that. But, then, if I believe I will need 3 loogy’s in the pen, that will probably be Cingrani’s role, rather than long man.

    If Leake doesn’t get in, though, I could possibly understand. For, if you only go by the chart, assuming an 11 man staff, the only ones past #11 that I believe would be considered are lefties, Marshall and Duke. So, the question mark may be, then, is do you carry left handed pitchers simply because they are left handed pitchers? And/or do the lefties put you in a better position to win the games? Shoot, with 4 starters and 7 relievers, we could even go 4 lefties in the pen. Do we?

    And, then, after last season, all of us were wishing that Leake had pitched some the 2 weeks prior to the game 4. That was one of the reasons I believe he didn’t do that well in that game last season, he hadn’t pitched in the previous 2 weeks I believe. His routine was off. But, then, that’s why I would have gone with Latos and Bailey on short rest rather than Leake on long rest and Latos on regular rest.

  19. I think we finally have a way to determine whether a starting pitcher is a #1, 2, 3, so on.

    A WAR > 4 is a #1.
    3.0-3.9 is a #2.
    2.0-2.9 is a #3.
    1.0-1.9 is a #4.
    0.0-0.9 is a #5.

    What do you think?

    • @TC: So Cueto is a #4/#5 starter? I think there’s a flaw in the system, but the concept in principle is sound. The problem comes in when evaluating higher quality/lower quantity pitchers against lower quality/higher quantity pitchers. There also should be some overlap on the designations. Something such as:

      #1 => 3.5+
      #2 => 2.6-3.7
      #3 => 1.8-2.8
      #4 => 1.2-2.0
      #5 => 0.8-1.4
      #6 => 0.4-1.0

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