Right now, the National League is batting .248/.316/.395. If you saw a player with those numbers, I’m betting you wouldn’t think he was an average player.
For several years, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen offense declining across baseball, and while we know that the league isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t hitting as well as it once did, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard to apply that thinking to individual players when weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re so little removed from an era of offensive explosion.
Drew Stubbs is batting .262/.307/.383. Basically, he’s one good game away from being a league-average hitter. But we’re all programmed to think those numbers are terrible because, a few years ago, they would have been.
Certainly, there are players on this team who haven’t started hitting much yet, but five of eight starting positions (1B, SS, C, CF, RF)Ã‚Â have yielded offense either well above or right around average. This isn’t to say the Reds are the kind of offensive force we expect them to be, at least not yet, but neither have they been an unmitigated disaster.
Consider also that the NL ERA is currently 3.73. The Reds ERA is 3.17, second in the league. But again, a 3.17 ERA doesn’t mean what it did when the league was giving up 5 runs per game a few years ago. We should expect some regression here as more pitchers have been lucky than have been unlucky if you compare ERA to the advanced stats like FIP and xFIP, which are better at predicting the future than ERA.
What it all boils down to, and what we’ve seen lately, is that the Reds are a team that should hit and can pitch. There’s a reason they’ve won so many games lately.