Reading Blake Street Bulletin is getting depressing. Writing about the Rockies is getting depressing. But I try to think of something positive to write every day and struggle to come up with anything that I could even put a tiny bit of meat on – I’m talking a chicken wing from KFC after I got a hold of it: no meat.
I could talk Carlos Gonzalez and his offensive play so far this year, that has been great, but then I start to wander towards his very subpar play in the outfield. And, frankly, outside of CarGo at the plate what do the Rockies have? Wilin Rosario’s six home runs are nice. Christian Friedrich gave Rockies fans a glimmer of hope when he faced two awful offenses in extreme pitcher’s parks…then he faced a horrendous offense at Coors Field and all hopes and dreams were washed away. What about Troy Tulowitzki? He has to be a bright spot, right? According to Baseball-Reference Tulo’s WAR is -0.3 right now. That’s right, Tulo is costing the Rockies victories so far this year. That shouldn’t be hard to believe, either, if you have seen him come up empty time and again late in the game at the plate and watched his lackluster performance in the field, too.
There just isn’t anything good to write about on the topic “Rockies” right now.
We all love top 10’s so here at 10 gloom and doom stats for the Rockies.
10. The Rockies currently have the sixth worst run differential in baseball. Run differential is often a predictor either during the current season or for the following season on how a team will perform going forward. Something as simple as if you score more runs than your opponent can predict wins. Amazing, huh? After last night the Rockies have been outscored by 30 runs. Only the Minnesota Twins (-70!), Chicago Cubs (-41), San Diego Padres (-36), New York Mets (-32) and Pittsburgh Pirates (-31) have fared worse than the Rockies -30. It’s not going to get better for the Rox.
(How about the Mets? Two games above .500 while being outscored by 32 runs this season. Safe to say a losing streak is on the horizon for the Amazin’s.)
9. The Rockies are the only team in baseball that has not had a starting pitcher win back-to-back games in 2012.
8. The Rockies pitching has the second worst ERA in all of baseball and has allowed the most runs (tied with the Twins as the worst staff in preventing runs). The team also has the third fewest quality starts in baseball and the worst batting average against.
7. Collectively the Rockies starting rotation has the second worst ERA and batting average against (those pitiful Twins lead both) and fifth fewest strikeouts. And if it feels like there is always a lot of traffic on the bases when the Rockies starters are on the bump it is because there are: the Rockies starting rotation has the worst WHIP (walks + hits / IP) in baseball.
(Stumbled across one stat that amazed me on the positive side: the Rockies as a team are 27th in baseball in number of batter strikeouts. There are 26 teams that have K’d more than the Rockies have. I’m shocked.)
6. Marco Scutaro and his slow heartbeat are valued at -6.7 batting WAR so far this year. That is good for 12th worst in baseball among qualified batters. Scutaro’s .304 on-base percentage comfortably puts him in the bottom third in baseball and Jim Tracy continues to bat him leadoff.
5. Thanks in large part to Scutaro the Rockies have an on-base percentage of .282 from the leadoff man which is 25th in baseball. (Dexter Fowler has a .349 OBP.)
4. The Rockies have 25 team errors (25th in baseball) and that doesn’t count the mis-plays that aren’t counted as errors (I’m thinking of the play in which Scutaro didn’t apply the tag on the base runner stealing second). Currently Tulo has a below average UZR/150 rating, tied for fourth in errors and has the fifth worst fielding percentage among shortstops.
3. The Rockies are tied for fifth in baseball in outs made on the bases and tied with second fewest bases taken on fly balls, passed ball or other opportunities. In other words they don’t take the opportunity, when presented, to move up a base and all too often they are caught trying to move up a base when they shouldn’t (think Scutaro getting thrown out at third this past weekend).
2. The Rockies are averaging over 32,000 fans per home game which is good for 13th in baseball. The 32k represents Coors Field being about 64% occupied for every game which is good for 16th in baseball. Rockies fans are still showing up to the games and filling the Monfort’s pockets. Nothing will change until this changes. If the fans continue to support a lousy team then there is no incentive to make changes.
1. I know Eric Young Jr. isn’t great defensively but what has Scutaro given the Rockies this year? Instead of blindly running Scutaro to second base every night and putting him in the leadoff position every game why not try EY2 at second? Instead of trying to squeeze EY2 into the outfield when the team already has CarGo, Dex, Michael Cuddyer and Tyler Colvin as more than adequate options for the OF, why not put EY2 at second? What’s it going to hurt? Not like Scutaro is giving the Rockies anything positive other than his slow heartbeat. That is my number one gloom and doom stat: Tracy always favors the veteran and gives the veteran the chance to work out of a slump even after it becomes painfully obvious that the veteran needs to be benched in favor of a kid.
It is going to be a long year for the Rockies because Jorge De La Rosa has been put back on the shelf and isn’t even throwing anymore due to a bad elbow and tight forearm. At this point would even a healthy flame throwing DLR help this team? He would help, but they wouldn’t suddenly become a contender. There aren’t any super prospects waiting in the minors that will drastically improve this team. Sure Nolan Arenado might give the team a shot in the arm but the team is doing pretty well offensively, it is pitching where the most help is needed.
To that end there isn’t even hope for next year without moves being made next offseason. The Rockies are stuck in another rebuilding mode only a few years removed from making the World Series (which, looking back, was obviously even more luck based than skill based).
Doom and gloom.