Putting Leake in context indicates he's been about 10 runs worse than average per 200 IP (i.e. 1 WAR below average) based upon his peripherals. He has below average velocity and above average contact rates (or below average "miss bat" rates). The biggest pluses he's shown so far? He can throw strikes and doesn't have much in the way of platoon splits. He has limited trade value as AL teams wouldn't likely bite. That's a back end starter. Remove the influence of the Reds defense from behind him and I seriously doubt this conversation would even be had by fans.
BTW, xFIP wasn't included because it innapropriately makes Leake's numbers look better by removing a serious flaw-his consistent tendency to give up too many homers. For those who want to argue Leake is Doug Fister the reality is that Leake is Doug Fister if Doug Fister suddenly started giving up 30 more homers every 485 IP.
Thats the context of what Mike Leake has been and is.... If one wants to argue that Leake will be something dramatically different going forward, that's a different argument and one is welcome to have at it.
Personally, I use stats like ERA and WHIP to discuss who a pitcher was, and his peripherals to discuss who is likely will be going forward. I think using peripherals to discuss who a pitcher was misses the point of peripherals.
"Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.
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