Denver’s Zach Reed became an integral part of the Wolves rotation in 2026. The reliable if unspectacular 34 year old righty made 25 major league starts, logged exactly 150 innings pitched, and posted a 4.80 ERA (4.70 FIP). At first glance, absolutely nothing stands out. Those numbers are the epitome of a pedestrian performance. Taking a closer look makes it interesting:
- He went 6-13 on a team on a club that finished 18 games over .500…and was still the club’s 3rd most valuable pitcher by WAR.
- Of his 25 starts, just 11 of them ranked as “quality starts.”
The high end of his performances in those is remarkable for such an ordinary pitcher. He threw six complete games and three shut outs, including a 3-hitter and a 1-hitter. He allowed exactly one run five times.
- When he wasn’t quality, he was really, really bad. He surrendered from 2-4 runs only five times, meaning in nearly half his outings (12/25), he gave up 5+ runs.
- In his poor outings, he averaged 4 2/3 IP with an ERA of 7.45.
In his great ones, he averaged just over 8 IP with an ERA of 0.56.
In short, Reed’s statistics almost completely obscure his effect on the team. Instead of a consistent innings eater, he was a world-beater or a batting practice arm. If this bipolar tendency continues in the postseason, it could be a huge factor in how the Wolves fare in the Tournament of Champions.