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
It's been a while, but the Reds have gone 15-11 since my last update, which has pulled them out of the cellar and into (a distant) 4th place...with the second-worst offense in the division, and the third-worst defense, they don't look likely to surge at this point, but it's nice to see them out of the basement.....Meanwhile, the Cubs have stalled a bit, going 11-14 and seeing declines on both offense and defense.....The Cardinals and Brew Crew have essentially moved in equal and opposite directions, but both are within striking distance of first place... THT's division graph does a great job of illustrating the bimodal NL Central as it is now:
Overall, the Reds' linear weights sum to 464, which is 11 more than they've actually scored.....Dunn retains the title of most valuable Reds hitter, and really re-established himself over the past month as he pushed his OPS well over the 0.900 mark.....I continue to be surprised that Hairston is still raked as the best on a per-out basis, though he keeps getting himself hurt which keeps the sample size small...PrOPS still thinks he's been lucky, and a 30% line drive rate is a pretty exceptional thing to see.....Encarnacion also had a really nice surge on offense, more than doubling his value over the past month.....On the other hand, Phillips and especially Votto have really struggled of late, and it shows in their season totals.....Don't look now, but David Ross has the second-highest walk rate on the club and an 0.400 OBP--nice to see the guy finally having some success again.....and the magic may have finally faded for Keppinger...I think he'll rebound a bit, and his OBP is still decent, but that power is now much more in line with what you could reasonably project based on his minor league numbers.....
Total Player Value (Hitting + Fielding)
The Reds' fielding numbers sum to -6.5 runs, which is down about 7 runs from last month's check-in, but is still just a tad below average.....I have no idea what to make of Dunn's defensive numbers this year...anyone who watches games want to speculate? Is he running better this year, or is this just fielding stat volatility that we're seeing? My guess is the latter.....Encarnacion unfortunately coupled his offensive surge with some defensive woes, dropping from -3 runs to -11 runs in a month.....I'm not sure if I believe mine eyes, but Griffey Jr. is finally rated above replacement level on the year......Kepp's not doing as well at shortstop this year as he did last year--I have to wonder if the leg injury is part of the reason.....
The Reds' pitching has become Edinson Volquez and everyone else...I don't think anyone would have predicted that at the season's start...Volquez's ERA has finally reached the mid-2's, but the kid continues to pitch his heart out.....FIP continues to be much more positive about the Reds' rotation than their actual numbers, ranking 4 of our starters over 10 runs above replacement, which is in the realm of averageishness.....Cueto seems to be incrementally improving.....I really think that Jared Burton signing was a good one, you know?.....I'm not sounding alarm bells or anothing, but our 33-year old closer's k-rates are down and his walk rates are off the charts--and have been all season...Fangraphs says that Cordero's fastball velocity is unchanged from last year, though, which is somewhat reassuring.....
Overall, Reds' pitchers' base runs sum to 509, which is 12 more than they've actually allowed. Using this estimate, along with the lwts-estimated runs scored of 464, and plugging into the pythagorean equation gives a predicted Reds record of 47-56 (0.454). That's three wins worse than their actual record, and would place them at the bottom of the division--though to be fair, the Pirates and the Astros have also been a bit lucky.
Thanks to the Hardball Times, who supplied most of the data used to generate the above reports. ZR data came from ESPN.com.