I can’t believe baseball actually thought it was a good idea to have TWO off days after the All-Star Game. One, it ruins the trivia question “what day of the year has no games being played among the four major sports?” (it now has to ask which two days…) and two it just ruins my life! I want baseball and I want it as much as possible. Two days off is killing me.
To pass the time I decided to give away some worthless awards that no one votes on except myself. They are completely meaningless but I need to think baseball. If you think I am way off base, please, feel free to call me names in the comments section below.
MVP: Has to be Carlos Gonzalez. It is closer than you might think, though. Dexter Fowler, according to Fangraphs, is worth the same number of wins in 2012 as CarGo. Fowler has played better defense (albeit still poor defense according to Fangraphs) and ran the bases better than CarGo, but CarGo has hit the ball better, slightly.
Best Hitter: CarGo takes this one, too. Of those on the team with at more than 200 plate appearances he is tied for first in on-base percentage (tied with Dex), first in slugging (Tyler Colvin has a higher slugging percentage but only 200 plate appearances – I needed to weed him out to make my argument more impactful, sue me), first in batting average, first in wOBA and first in wRC+. CarGo also leads the team in home runs, hits, RBI, runs scored and stolen bases. Surprise, the guy can hit and play baseball. Good.
Biggest Disappointment: We have our first category that could draw many different opinions. The name that jumps to my mind first is Jhoulys Chacin. I expected him to help lead the Rockies pitching staff in 2012 in innings and strikeouts and didn’t expect anyone else to come close. I honestly thought Jeremy Guthrie would put up innings and maybe come close to innings pitched to Chacin but Chacin would easily put up better quality innings.
I think it is safe to be disappointed in Troy Tulowitzki simply because he just cannot stay healthy. I understand many injuries of his are because he was hit with a pitch or other injuries that are out of his control but since his first full season with the Rockies in 2007 he has played in 150 games or more only twice and played fewer than 130 three times now (including this year). Need to figure out a way to keep this guy on the field.
Guthrie can certainly be viewed as a disappointment, he did start on Opening Day, after all. Todd Helton might be a disappointment but his age was starting to show in recent years and it is really showing this year. Michael Cuddyer was the Rockies big offseason signing and he hasn’t done anything to impress me. Name a Rockies pitcher other than Rafael Betancourt and Matt Belisle and there might be a good reason to include them in a disappointment list.
Best Pitcher: After talking disappointments and then giving away the award for Best Pitcher…this award is probably for the pitcher who has sucked the least. I think it has to be Belisle. According to WAR on Fangraphs he leads the Rockies pitching staff with Juan Nicasio coming in second (and Nicasio hasn’t pitched in like a month!). Which starting pitcher is honestly deserving?
***Shocking stat alert***
Of the 11 pitchers to start for the Rockies in 2012 only one of them has an ERA below 5.18 and that is Drew Pomeranz. Every other pitcher to start for the Rockies in 2012 carries an ERA over 5.18 (Jeff Francis owns a 5.19 ERA). Seven of the 11 pitchers have an ERA over 6.00 (well, five, but Christian Friedrich’s ERA is 5.98…close enough).
With Pomeranz spending time in the minor leagues the Rockies best pitcher of the first half of 2012 was Belisle. Maybe Pomeranz can overtake him in the second half?
Best Surprise: Give me Fowler. I thought he would be a major contributor to the Rockies in 2012 but I didn’t expect this. Add in the games Jim Tracy has played with him by batting him as low as ninth in the batting order during interleague play and Fowler has done nothing but excel.
Among center fielders who qualify (AL and NL) Fowler ranks fourth in OBP and slugging and his weighted on-base average and runs created are good for fifth. Due to his poor fielding metrics he is ranked eighth in WAR but I find that hard to believe. Based on his basic batting statistics there are only three or four center fielders in all of baseball who have been better than Dex in 2012 (Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen and Curtis Granderson have all been really, really good*).
How good could this kid be if he had unwavering confidence from his manager?
Biggest Frustration: Marco Scutaro. I didn’t expect Scutaro, and his slow heartbeat, to be a major piece of the Rockies puzzle and success in 2012, but I certainly didn’t expect him to be so negative to the team. The guy might be fantastic in the clubhouse, some kind of veteran presence who played with the Boston Red Sox (you know, the tumultuous team in 2011 that got the manager fired who had taken a “cursed” team and won two World Series with them) but on the field he has been a disaster. From stepping off of second base without calling timeout to get tagged out to just flat out not finishing a play and allowing a base runner to steal a base to poor hitting he has been bad. Really bad.
Among all qualified second basemen he is right around the middle or slightly below the midpoint in batting average, on-base and slugging. According to Fangraphs he is in the bottom third in WAR and somehow his base running and fielding are not negative. He hasn’t been good.
What other awards would you give out? Who would win them? Do you have differing opinions on my awards listed above? Let us know in the comments below.
I will leave you with this note: for those who became Rockies fans sometime around the end of the 2007 season you will not be happy to know that even if the Rockies win 21 of 22 to end the season, but stay on their current pace until game 140, they will still finish the season with 76 wins and 86 losses. If they continue on this current pace without the miraculous finish they will only win 63 games in 2012 and lose 99. Awfully close to losing 100 games in 2012. The Rockies have never lost more than 95 games in a season and have never finished with a winning percentage under 40% (currently at 38.8%).
*Yes, I know Josh Hamilton also plays some center field and he is pretty darn good, too. But he also plays a lot in the corner outfield spots.