FirstLook: Rockies @ Padres, 5.3.15

Last night’s game wrap drew a couple of comments worth exploring. I said that this offense is “padding their stats”, and that they are not “working together as a team to score runs”. I suggested it is time for a batting order shuffle, and closed with the thought that this lineup should be producing 2 runs per inning, not 2 runs per game. That is of course grossly exaggerated, but the point is we need a lot more hits strung together and crooked numbers of runs put up.

One comment from Twitter pointed out the sequence in the 2nd inning that produced one of the runs last night was a semi-manufactured run: CarGo walk, Hundley 1B on a hit-and-run and CarGo reaching 3rd, DJ ground out. OK, I didn’t say “never”.

I’ll try not to spend that one run all in one place. It shows up as a zero in the 0-for-8 with RISP figures, a bit deceptive because it was a great AB by DJ. He attempted a safety squeeze first, then worked the count full and grounded into the 5.5 hole with Hundley moving, barely thrown out by Barmes.

Another commenter said he didn’t see how the Rox stats were being padded. Let’s look at how the Rox rank offensively in the NL. (I’m leaving out the AL for now, 3 DH-fueled offenses in KC, Baltimore, Detroit are skewing the numbers at the top.)

In team batting, the Rox are 1st in batting average (.274) and 2nd in slugging (.439, behind the Dodgers). That is enough to put them second in OPS (.838).

Here the illusion begins – their OBP at .316 is just about league average, in the middle of the pack. Really disturbing, the Rox are way off the pace in runs scored. SD leads with 123 (thanks in part to us), and we are sitting at 93, below the league average of 96.

How can a team hitting the ball well not produce runs? We don’t have a glaring GIDP machine in the lineup, so it’s not so much rallies killed as rallies that never develop. There are three stats to look at: productive outs (a runner is advanced a base), baserunners seen/scored (not necessarily an RBI), and baserunners advanced in key situations.

Rox as a team:
Productive outs: 22 of 81, 27% – ranks 12th in league, Washington at 41%
Baserunners scored: 69 of 459, 15% – right at league average, SD at 18%
Runners scored from 3B, less than 2 out: 17 of 39, 44% – 13th in league, Mets at 68%
Runners advanced from 2B, nobody out: 15 of 35, 54% – league average, Mets at 67%

When you boil those numbers, the Rox and Mets are scoring runs at the same rate: 4.04 per game. The Mets are getting that done on way fewer opportunities. The Dodgers and Padres are getting a lot of opportunities and delivering, both producing 4.9+ runs per game.

It’s the Wikipedia picture for “untimely hitting”. The Rox are below NL average in most situational hitting metrics. I don’t care about average, or slugging, or BABIP – I care about OBP, followed by runs crossing the plate by any means necessary.

That’s why I suggested moving the best OBP guy – LeMahieu at .444 – up to the 2 hole. DJ is also the best situational guy: 80% productive outs, 25% baserunners scored, 67% runners on 3rd < 2 out and runners on 2nd no out. That would put him in the mix with the above-average part of the lineup. Blackmon (24%), Dickerson (22%), Arenado (20%), and Tulo (19%) get runners home at above-league average 14%.

We know CarGo is struggling – he and Hundley are seeing traffic but getting them home at only 9%. I’d also move Morneau down to 6, he is average at getting runs home and frankly he’s getting fewer opportunities because guys in front of him are getting it done. I’d rather risk a 1-2-3 inning from the bottom half than what we have now where hits are spread out and the same thing (no scoring) happens. When CarGo becomes a better option than somebody higher in the order, move him back up. I know that’s heresy based on salary and fantasy production, but it is a stark reality – numbers never lie. We also have to discard this L-R-L-R thing, it’s a fallacy.

There it is. That analyzes the best lineup we have, not the Sunday version and not against James Shields. Tulo, Morneau, and Hundley all sitting. Even the Padres Sunday lineup looks pretty good against Kendrick – watch out for Spangenberg, he has made the most of limited time.

San Diego Padres
CF: Wil Myers
2B: Cory Spangenberg
RF: Matt Kemp
LF: Justin Upton
3B: Yangervis Solarte
C: Derek Norris
1B: Yonder Alonso
SS: Alexi Amarista
SP: James Shields

Rockies
CF: Charlie Blackmon
LF: Corey Dickerson
3B: Nolan Arenado
RF: Carlos Gonzalez
C: Michael McKenry
2B: DJ LeMahieu
SS: Rafael Ynoa
1B: Daniel Descalso
SP: Kyle Kendrick

[sac_happens]

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RocketMan
RocketMan
5 years ago

Well of course. The inevitable HBP followed by a HR to get the Padres up by one. What is it with the repeating HBP problem?

RocketMan
RocketMan
5 years ago

And also, the walks/HBP/runs are so frequently occuring with 2 outs….

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
5 years ago

As I said in the other thread, might as well forfeit the game today with half of the Sunday lineup automatic outs.

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

To add insult to injury: Mark Canha, RH corner player/DH, was a Rockies Rule 5 pick on our roster for about 5 minutes this winter. Bridich immediately flipped him to the A’s for AA reliever Austin House. Canha is now hitting .297/.350/.459 for the A’s in 80 PA. His 131 RC+ would rank 2nd on the Rockies (DJ first). Some GMs just seem to pull this type of transaction off every year. (On the good side, House has been pretty… Read more »

RocketMan
RocketMan
5 years ago

Deja vu all over again. Kyle Kendrick, precision pitching machine.

Hey–I thought Petco was a pitcher’s park. What’s with all the dingers today. Oh yeah. KK, precision pitching machine. 10 homers in five starts. That’s true Rockies pitching, for sure.

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Yeah, can’t blame Coors for Kendrick’s awful pitching. We can’t blame Wilin Rosario either. He’s just a crappy pitcher.

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Arenado! I’m ready to say it now: best player on the Rockies. Meanwhile, Cargo = useless so far.

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Kendrick fits perfectly in our list of recent veteran pitcher acquisitions: Garland, Guthrie, Anderson, Kendrick. Really, wouldn’t you expect to get lucky at least once? Then again, maybe it’s time to stop spending real money on lame-ass pitchers and hoping to get lucky.

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Dinger, there’s your DJ situational hitting! Flubbed the hit and run. After earlier failing to move a runner from 2nd to 3rd.

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

And Tulo delivers … a pop out. Not even a medium depth fly to score a run. And he’ll now bitch about playing on a losing team as if he has absolutely nothing to do with that.

roxnsox
roxnsox
5 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Ag. When has he ever bitched? Be fair, now. You can read body language or attribute thoughts, but really.

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago
Reply to  roxnsox

Well, correct roxnsox — I don’t recall Tulo ever saying anything about being sick and tired of playing for a loser franchise. I do think he’s made it obvious in all other ways that he’d welcome a trade outta here …

roxnsox
roxnsox
5 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Yup, correct 🙂

Julian
Julian
5 years ago

Why not go with the lefty Morneau instead of Tulo in that situation? I don’t know the numbers, but viscerally it seems like from what I’ve seen Tulo is not a great pinch hitter.

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

I agree, Julian. I think Morneau gave them a better chance there of at least getting the runner on 3B home. Of course, it didn’t matter since the Padres added 2 more in the bottom half …

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
5 years ago

Kendrick is Jeremy Guthrie 2.0. Came to eat innings and keep Rockies in games. Coors Field ate him up mentally. Do something with him before it gets worse.

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

As I’m hearing Spilly say right now, I don’t think it’s a Coors Field thing at all. I don’t know that there’s anything you can do with him — call up Yohan Flande? I mean, I’m not seeing any options at all other than throwing him (or Bergman) out there every 5th day to get lit up. Actually, I am seeing one option: SKIPPING HIS TURN IN THE ROTATION WHEN WE’VE HAD A DAY OFF like we did this week.… Read more »

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
5 years ago

One month into the season and of course the jury is still out on AJ Preller’s bold off-season make-over in SD. But if I’m a SD fan I’m excited because I’m confident he won’t be shy to pull the trigger on future deals if my team stays in the playoff race. And with the mounting injuries in LaLa land, that’s extremely possible. The Pads could really use Tulo……..but they strained the depth of their Farm with the recent deals. So… Read more »

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
5 years ago

May I also point out that the Houston Astros, yes the Houston Astros, have opened a 7 game lead in the AL West. Their nuclear option rebuild is coming along nicely.

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Astros, Cubs … the nuclear option is looking pretty attractive right now.

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

OK, let me throw this desperation move out there: Bettis, 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. Better than watching Kendrick throw games away. At least he’s young.

Julian
Julian
5 years ago

Bettis has thrown a couple of pretty good games in AAA. But I’m not sure that I’d rush him back to the major leagues too soon. I’d let him get his feet under him. It would be nice to see him come back to the majors and stay. Maybe a month. Flande has done well in AA, but that’s a long way from the major leagues. So, I don’t see much in the system to help short term. Gray hasn’t… Read more »

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
5 years ago
Reply to  Julian

“A perfect storm of suckage.”

I’d like to nominate for quote of the season (so far).

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
5 years ago

More noise from the Brew Crew – multiple sources say the “for sale” sign is out and Ron Roenicke has been fired.

I’m not saying this because we need to talk with Milwaukee. We don’t. I’m saying this because we should get out in front of them in the process.

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