With an off-day, I thought I pull together useful and useless bits of information for your reading and to stave off the loss of no baseball today.
Its a long list…what do you expect from me?
1) The Rockies have hit two walk off homers this season and they both went 417 feet to dead center. The hardest place to hit it out and Culberson and Morneau both did it.
2) The Rockies had a triple play on Sunday thanks to a call of interference by the umpire when Seth Smith reached out and grabbed/tripped DJ on the throw to 1st – which automatically made the runner heading to 1st out. I checked out Retrostats pages and aside from a somewhat interference call back in 1905 (and in fact, since no one realized the umpire called interference in that game and they got the third out on their own…I say it doesn’t count), this is the first ever to involve an interference play. That is the 3rd triple play ever, and of course the Rox own one of the 15 single-handed triple plays with Tulos a few years back.
3) We were reminded this week that we traded Seth Smith for two pitchers from Oakland – Morossco and Outman. Morossoco was tried as both a starter and reliever and was gone. Outman gave the team some decent pitching last year but was dealt for Drew Stubbs this off-season. So that is Seth Smith for Drew Stubbs. That one didn’t really work out.
4) The Rox have now played 45 games. I will do a 30% review after the Giants series. They have played 24 on the road and 21 at home. They have 25 wins which is more than: Everyone in the NL Central aside from the Brewers, the entire NL East, and every AL Team aside from Oakland and Detroit. They have don’t that with 3 starters on the DL for at least a month, with their starting C and RF on the DL for over 3 weeks, and with a very slow start from CarGo. That should tell you just how well they have played.
5) And is Charlie Blackmon really this good? Well, over the past 408 ABs, all of last year and this year he is a .318 hitter, with a .856 OPS. I think he won’t hit his hot, but I think we can safely say .310 with a .850-.900 OPS is not an impossibility for him, especially playing half the games at Coors.
6) According to the Pythagorean Calculation, the Rox should be 27-17. That is why it is so hard to look at the quality in the pen and see a 1-6 record in pen games (decided not to count today’s as a win due to the blown save by Hawkins). So in fact, this team is under-performing its output.
7) At the start of the season I said this was an 84 win team. They have managed to hold fort with a thin bench…a really thin bench since all the injuries. That is the reason I think we have seen the offense die the last week, the pick-up in Ks, the errors on defense, and the lack of concentration. Now healthy (aside from the rotation)….is it time to show how good this team might really be. I am thinking 88 to 90 wins is possible…if they are not playing a 5-6 man lineup on the road for very long. (they need at least 7 dangerous bats in the lineup on the road to be dangerous).
8) News of Tyler Colvin, he of the 18 homers in 2012…and the sub .200 average in 2013. He was called up to replace Brandon Belt when he broke his thumb. Colvin has been good so far, with a game winning homer, a triple, 4 doubles and a .364 average so far. And yes, in 22 ABs he has 9Ks. Colvin a left-handed version of Stubbs? We will see him this week with the Giants. Never heard anything bad about him so wish him well….just not too well.
9) Matt Daley was called back up to the Yankees this past week (their pen is a mess – guess money can’t buy love or a good bullpen). In 3 outings since the 13th he has thrown 4.2 innings (3 in one shot) and without giving up a run. He got two fly-ball outs today, before he was pulled for a lefty-on-lefty situation. A lot of us like Matt a lot and are glad to see him back up and doing, well, great. He has already moved up the pecking order in the Yanks pen.
10) Julys Chacin is 0-2, but he has been hurt by one bad inning in each of three starts. So the question is, how close is he to being the #1 the team viewed him as last year? It took him 3 starts to get back to himself last year after his late April DL stint. So, maybe this week the Giants end up seeing the Rox best two pitchers in DLR and Chacin?
11) Since the streak ended Arenado has 5 hits in 24 ABs? That is .208. And again, he has no homers on the road. Arenado has also continued to hit all over the lineup so those who think batting order matters, maybe that is Arenado’s problem?
12) Good article on the mlb site for Rockies by Thomas Harding (I wish I had his job…even though it has to be rough) on CarGo’s knee. It is part of the hitting problem, but with no Cuddy they cannot really rest him. Anyways, as always Harding did a great job. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140518&content_id=75917500¬ebook_id=75946234&vkey=notebook_col&c_id=col
13) For those keeping track the Folwer trade, Dex is up to .267 average and is now hitting 3rd for the Astros. For the SABR folks out there, he is still the OBP machine, at .375. His OPS is hurting though at .768. He has just 11 extra-base hits so far.
14) Since his great first two start, the last three start by Colin McHugh have not been so great. 5ER in 4IP, 2ER in 6.1IP, and 4ER in 5.1IP. Still, he is carrying a 3.48 ERA and a WHIP of only 1.05. According to the interviews he learned to pitch backwards, starting with slow-stuff early in the count then coming with his 90 mph fastball inside. Not quite Jordan Lyles, but not bad for the Astros.
15) We all know the DJ came over to the Rox with Tyler Colvin. At the time the Cubs were trying to decide between Darwin Barney or DJ for their 2nd base job. Both are great defenders (Barney has won GG and set error-less streak). Word is that either player was good for the Rockies in the trade, but the Cubs went with Barney and we got DJ. I complain to no end about DJ on the road, but wow, did we get the right player. Barney is hitting .176, after a .208 last year. Since 2013 Barney does have 9 homers, but wow, at 28 Barney is on the verge of becoming a utility man and DJ is a quality starting 2nd baseman and is only 25 and actually does hit some.
16) After the Giants series we head on the road for 9 games and 3 cities. We start in Atlanta, where if we can get any hitting there is a good chance to win some games – Atlanta is far and away the league leader in striking out. Aside from their amazing 1B Freeman, the team is not hitting at all. And this after giving away millions in contracts not just to the Uptons but also Simmons (who does not deserve the GG), Freeman, Hayward, and now Johnson.
17) After Atlanta we head to Philadelphia. This is always a tough place to play for the team. It is pure offense in the park and depending on who they draw pitching wise, they can face some tough arms. After that, a day-off and trip to Cleveland for three against a struggling team. This is the team’s longest road trip and after it they will have played 9 more on the road than home. Meanwhile the Giants are in the midst of a 22 of 32 at home. So the next three weeks could really determine how the team views itself going into June and trading season. If they can stay in the lead for the wild-card, regardless of the division, this team will consider the moves necessary to make the team stronger. If they start to fall back, then I would not be shocked to see De La Rosa or Hawkins or Cuddyer sent away in a trade. They could re-sign any of the players at the end of the season if they want to (which I think they plan on doing with DLR). So, the next 12 games is going to be the key run. Can they sweep the series and go either 5-4 or 4-5 on the road trip?
18) Wrote an article recently trying to suggest changes to the ejection rules for baseball. As of today 51 managers or players have been ejected, and that despite the addition of instant replay to change many of the plays that might have ended in an ejection. Last year, without instant replay, there were 180 total ejections. In other words, we are heading for more ejections even with instant replay helping players and managers to stay calm because they know they can get things changed. Weird.
19) And lastly, new for a good guy. Jeff Francis has been pitching at AAA with Cincinnati and…as of today he is on the As 25 man squad. Congrats to Jeff. He was 4-3 with a 3.33 at AAA, and pitching well. Always will be a Francis fan and will always wonder what would have happened if that shoulder had not blown out. Well, like Masset, let’s hope that Francis is finally healthy and able to do what he used to be able to do.