As promised, even in my absence from roxwalkoff that I would keep up the stats reporting. I have made a few changes to the hitting splits. Rather than giving you home and away and right and left as the way I used to, you now get home – right-handed, and home – left-handed, and the same for away. I have also, in light of the massive increase the past 6 weeks in striking out by Rockies hitters, included the K% for all 4 categories. These are up through the San Fran series (for example, Rutledge had not struck-out vs. a lefty this season…until his first AB vs Ryu tonight or Chris Martin’s allowing runs in relief).
Things to watch for in the data, first from the hitting front:
1) Charlie Blackmon in the last 6 games has really turned around what had been a 6 week slide. He was below .300 against lefties overall until this weekend. Not looking at his number against lefties at home and road his .316 and .281 are very acceptable vs lefties if you are having him lead-off. Also, except for the unusually high K% vs right-handers on the road (weird for a lefty that hits righties so well) he has some of the best K rates among any lead-off hitter in the NL.
2) Tulo’s ineffectiveness against righties on the road is a big part of the recent slide and the only place he is struggling. He is striking out 25% of the time (is he pressing?), where-as he is striking out under 10% in the other 3 situations. You know righties are going to be tougher on a right-handed hitter, but that is just a very bad number, and has been rising each month. His .242 BABIP against righties on the road is also weird – he is the hardest hitting batter in the NL (keeps trading the honor with Stanton in Miami, but this is based on statistical evidence), but on the road he finds a lot of gloves.
3) As we saw on Sunday when Rosario played 1B, Morneau on the road vs lefties… is a disaster right now (he is starting vs Ryu tonight). I assume the call up of Kyle Parker is to help in that area.
4) This team has a lot of weird stats, right-handed hitters hitting better vs. righties on the road than lefties at Coors. But that is why baseball is fun…reality doesn’t have to follow the numbers.
5) Corey Dickerson is going to be a great player – but my goodness he strikes out a lot! And while he has had some good ABs vs lefties occasionally, this is not a guy you can play every day vs. lefties at this point.
6) DJ is really hard to appreciate. I love his D, which is not on these sheets, but does show-up on the team’s pitching stats. But only against lefties on the road does he have an OPS over .800. Is there a better option there?
7) When you look at Charlie Culberson’s numbers (save for his few ABs vs. lefties on the road), this guy is not a big-league bat (or glove). His ability to play multiply position helps (none of them great) but it really highlights the loss of Arenado.
8) Including the K% in the batting stats….that was a painful decision because there are some awful numbers there.
And from the pitching front (and just like rmh was happy to see Morales out of the rotation, I cannot express how good it will be for this team to not have Nicasio going every 5th day).
1) We all know what the one week at home did to the bullpen. I have rarely seen a situation where all the guys have their bad nights (and except for the upper elite relievers, they all have bad nights when their stuff isn’t there) together like that. Take out that week and the bullpen is pretty good. Even with that week, there is still some good numbers in the pen.
2) I wrote a month ago about pulling Hawkins from the closer-role. At the time the issue was who do you go to instead. But he has done a good job of righting the ship (it’s never easy with Hawkins) but on the road his WHIP of 1.00 is very impressive.
3) Matt Belisle outside of one bad outing, has been really good this season, better than we might realize because of early issues, but he too has a 1.00 WHIP.
4) The MVP of the pitching staff – Tommy Kahnle. He did give-up a walk-off in Arizona, and he has had the occasional issue, but wow. Sub 2 ERAs both home and road, WHIPS of 1.021 and .534, and he has pitched 35 innings already this season. With all the short starts from Nicasio, Morales, and even Lyles…he has been a star so far.
5) The biggest disappointment, at least in the pen – Chad Bettis. Wow….there is a lot of talent in the arm but there are a lot of talented guys. Can he ever get guys out up here?
6) Related note – Chris Martin is a nice pitcher…on the road. At home he gives up a lot of homers to left-field. On the road, he is nice piece of the bullpen.
7) There is not an error – look at the home numbers of Zero and Brothers…their numbers are very similar. Rex has had a good run of late…they need Zero to be the guy from April to mid-May.
8) The decision to send down Nicasio to AAA had to be made. His ERA had been rising the past 6 weeks and his WHIP was well over 1.5 both at home and road. I have been pounding this issue for a while – you cannot succeed long up here with only 2 average at best pitches.
9) Chacin is an extremely big part of this rotation and his numbers, despite the issues early, are not that bad. His ERA on the road should not be that high based on his WHIP.
10) I made the point the other day after my list of 25 reasons for the Rockies recent swoon: Nolan Arenado’s glove has hurt this team more than anything else. According to the stat geeks, up until his injury, the Rockies D on the left-side was 6th overall – since then they are 28th! I have seen a lot of hits in my very limited Rox watching that Nolan would have picked. There is also a decline in the up-the-middle D because of Tulo having to position differently. I would not be surprised to see, when Nolan comes back, the ERAs of the staff decline significantly. A lot of balls that are base hits right now or are not turned into double-plays – are going to be outs again. Here is the article: http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/48425/notes-on-d-best-on-groundballs?ex_cid=espnapi_public
11) With the removal of Morales and Nicasio, even just league average work from Matzek (he only went 5 vs the Dodgers but wasn’t helped by really bad umpiring behind the plate or 3rd base D, or Charlie Blackmon in RF – two areas that are normally manned by Gold Glove players) and Bergman can keep this team going until they get back any 3 of Lyles, Chatwood, Anderson and Butler.
12) I have been more impressed by the work of McKenry, but the receiving of Rosario in terms of framing and stopping pitches from becoming wild-pitches. I think the team’s attempts to try and get either Ruiz or McCann was not just the right play, but could have made the biggest difference with this pitching staff. I never played catcher but I have seen a lot of strange calls from the catcher in terms of pitching as well. I would not be surprised if this team finally does decide to spend dollars on a serious defensive game caller this off-season.
As always, go Rockies!