Here were the positional leaders in WAR in 2011 according to Fangraphs:
1. Troy Tulowitzki 6.3
2. Carlos Gonzalez 4.1
3. Chris Iannetta 3.3
Here are the leaders in WAR in 2011 according to baseball-reference.com:
1. Troy Tulowitzki 5.8
2. Todd Helton 2.7
3. Carlos Gonzalez 2.6
4. Chris Iannetta 2.6
For some reason Iannetta wasn’t good enough for Dan O’Dowd and Jim Tracy. Keep in mind that WAR is a cumulative stat so if Iannetta wasn’t essentially benched the last few weeks he might have been more valuable that Helton and CarGo according to BR.com!! AND THE ROCKIES TRADED HIM!
Today the Rockies traded Iannetta to the Los Angeles Angels for pitcher Tyler Chatwood. To top it off the Rockies are reportedly close to inking Ramon Hernandez to a two-year deal worth somewhere around $6.5MM.
Keith Law gives his thoughts and I just love this:
Iannetta scarcely got a fair shake from Jim Tracy, who’s one of the worst tactical managers in the game today, and he’s much better off out of the organization.
I have been ragging on Tracy for quite some time and especially with how he handles younger players. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Iannetta take off in LA.
What did the Rockies get in return?
Chatwood turns 22 in about two weeks. He is a right hand pitcher who started 25 games for the Angels last year (first year of Major League baseball). He had a 4.75 ERA and according to his FIP and xFIP he was actually lucky and could have finished with an ERA just under 5.00. Chatwood strikes out about 4.5 batters per nine innings but he also walks about 4.5. Just ask Ubaldo Jimenez how well a 1:1 ratio worked for him in 2011 at Coors Field. Chatwood doesn’t induce a ton of ground balls and allowed almost one home run per nine innings pitched.
Chatwood is almost exactly the kind of pitcher the Rockies should NOT bring to Coors Field.
I will say that Baseball America ranked Chatwood the second best prospect in the Angels farm system prior to the 2011 season. He was not in BA’s top 10 for Anaheim (Los Angeles, whatever) prior to the 2010 season. He made a big jump on many scouts prospect’s list between February 2010 and February 2011 because in 13 starts at high A ball he struck out nearly 8 batters per nine innings and in 12 starts in AA he struck out 4.74 batters while walking only 3.56.
Maybe the Rockies think they can turn him for another player but realistically they didn’t get a lot for Iannetta.
Who catches for the Rockies in 2012?
Many watched Wilin Rosario, one of the Rockies top prospects prior to the 2011 season, flail at the plate towards the end of the 2011 season with the Rockies. In 57 plate appearances with the Rockies at the end of last year he batted .204/.228/.463 – terrible. Rosario has never played in AAA and in Tulsa last year (Rockies AA affiliate) he batted .249/.284/.457 – he got on base about as frequently as our old baseball challenged friend Jose Lopez. And that is in AA! Thus far in the Dominican Winter League he is batting .224/.273/.457.
Rosario is not ready for the Major Leagues.
The Rockies know this and instead of entrusting Iannetta to full time duty in 2012 they signed Hernandez. Hernandez is 35 and will be 36 in May of next year. He was an All-Star in 2003 but has not appeared in more than 100 games since 2008. He has split duties the past three seasons and is a slow footed catcher who is a decent hitter at this stage in his career. Mind you, the Rockies are not getting anything more out of Hernandez that they didn’t already have in Iannetta.
I am guessing the Rockies signed Hernandez with the intent of him mentoring Rosario next year. But right now, for 2012, the Rockies just got worse today.