WELCOME TO DENVER!

“WELCOME TO DENVER!”

I can still hear ringing voice of Renelda Muse over the DIA speakers in the shuttles to the main terminal.

So this article is my official “Welcome to Denver” for the Rockies four new lineup regulars:  Michael Cuddyer, Marco Scutaro, Ramon Hernandez and Casey Blake.  First a tip of the baseball cap to DanO, because although the Cuddyer money was substantially above market, I still for various reasons really like each of these four new Rockies additions.  By way of disclosure, I acknowledge that the standard and customary concept of an “everyday lineup” doesn’t actually exist with JT as the manager (forever really?).

So what should these four veteran players, and more importantly the RWO fanatics, expect from these guys as they bring their bats to Coors Field?  Before I continue this article you should know that this analysis is somewhat long, makes some gross statistical assumptions, and finally has nothing to do with the “new” baseball statistical metrics.

What I decided to do was to look at the “triple stat” lines for players that have played a significant part of a long career in Denver.  This analysis is flawed in many ways, because it ignores Mile High vs Coors Field, Humidor vs Non-Humidor eras, Steroids vs Non-Steroid eras, point of career, etc.  But, in spite of all that, I still find the results interesting when used over a dozen players as outlined below-Gm(Sns):AVG,OBP,SLG:

 

Torrealba Bichette Galaraga
Rockies 312(4):.260/.315/.397 877(6):.316/.352/.543 679(5):.318/.367/.578
Career 782(11):.260/.318/.390 1704(14):.299/.336/.499 2257(18):.288/.347/.499

 

Castilla Pierre L Walker
Rockies 935(7):.300/.340/.519 359(3):.308/.354/.359 1132(9):.330/.420/.609
Career 1854(16):.276/.321/.476 1751(12):.296/.345/.363 1988(17):.313/.400/.565

 

Burks Weiss Uribe
Rockies 620(5):.302/.375/.579 523(4):.266/.374/.346 314(3):.264/.303/.481
Career 2000(18):.291/.363/.510 1495(14):.258/.351/.326 1333(11):.253/.298/.423

 

T Walker Maine Giambi
Rockies 142(2):.307/.367/.521 166(2).316/.383/.397 170(3):.265/.395/.528
Career 1288(11):.289/.348/.435 1279(15):.263/.332/.348 2103(17):.281/.404/.525

 

While admittedly not exactly scientific, the trends above show that hitters will, on average, hit 15 points higher with an additional 15 points added to their OBP, and a whopping 37 points added to their slugging percentage – all because they moved their baseball career to Denver.  With that in mind, what should we expect from the four new Rockies starters based on their previous career numbers and most importantly if they can stay somewhat healthy?

Answer:

Cuddyer Scutaro
B James 12’ 152(1):.275/.347/.451 143(1):.271/.341/.378
Rockies 12’ 142(1):.287/.358/.488 138(1):.285/.353/.426
Career 1139(8):.272/.343/.451 1103(8):.270/.338/.389

 

Hernandez Blake
B James 12’ 81(1):.267/.336/.403 48(1):.246/.338/.386
Rockies 12’ 121(1):.281/.345/.456 141(1):.279/.353/.460
Career 1457(12):.266/.330/.419 1265(9):.264/.336/.442

Bill James (by way of FanGraphs) conservative projections for 2012 (B James 12’) are consistently below mine (Rockies 12’), however in fairness it should also be noted that each of the four new players have already logged over 1,000 games in their respective careers and are realistically on the downhill side – although experience can in some instances lead to stronger numbers (see Cuddyer).  Beyond that James is especially pessimistic about the number of games that both Hernandez and Blake will play in 2012.

For this baseball writer (use that term loosely) the bottom line for the Rockies team projection is that if each of these four new Rockies players meets their “Denver” adjusted career averages (Rockies 12’) then the Rockies will make the playoffs!  It’s statistically as simple as that and not all that unrealistic right?

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jaredean
Admin
jaredean
8 years ago

Rich, excellent article! Thanks for taking the time to give us these stats…I for one have always felt that the negative return we get from pitchers coming to Coors is more than counterbalanced by the bump in batting on the other side of the equation. Bringing in power hitters, especially from “pitcher friendly parks” will yield at least a few points in the average to our liking…Now if we can just figure out the team issues with splits. I don’t… Read more »

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago

Nice article, Rich! I can agree with most of your more optimistic numbers. My only disagreement is there is no way Blake plays 140 games! Not even if healthy. I have to think Pacheco and/or Nelson will get a lot of those games and then Arenado at the end of the year.

I will be shocked if Blake plays in 120.

Rich M
Rich M
8 years ago

Prog I would agree that given Blake’s age, last year’s injury and JT’s management style, it is highly unlikely that Blake will play in 140 games. But before you go too far toward the B James estimate (48), you should know that Blake did average 148 games played in each of the four seasons immediately prior to last year. Irregardless you are exactly right in that is the one statictically derived number from the above table just didn’t meet the… Read more »

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago

I think our 3rd base situation is too fluid to committ to 1 guy for that many games. I think even more than first base thats going to the position of most fluxuation, unless someone just shocks us with good play.

I can easily see it going something like 70 games Blake, 70 games Nelson, 30 games Pacheco and 30 games Arenado.

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago

Sorry. Thats some bad math. Make that 60, 60, 20, 20.

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  ProgMatinee

i bet if there were 200 games this season we for sure would win 90+ 🙂

Mike Raysfan
Mike Raysfan
8 years ago
Reply to  jaredean

Last I heard they are not even sure how many games there will be this season. It *MAY* be cut short to accomodate the new playoff schedule

Wayne
Wayne
8 years ago

I think B James is way off on Blake and low on Hernandez. I think each (if healthy) get between 90 and 100 starts. I agree with your numbers on Scutaro and Cuddyer.

Rich M
Rich M
8 years ago

Prog, that’s where I will disagree with you as I don’t see anyone knocking Blake off of third base until Arenado comes up in August/September. Just a hunch on my part but I think Blake “starts” 110 games (minimum if the injury is really behind him and without DL time). Nelson and Pacheco might be once a week reserves, if they make the team at all. Nelson has just one more chance with me and Pacheco is the real wild… Read more »

Bill
Bill
8 years ago

There’s a good article (or is it a column or blog?) on SI.com about Jamie Moyer at http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/tom_verducci/02/28/jamie.moyer.rockies/index.html?eref=sihp&sct=hp_t12_a2

Bob K.
Bob K.
8 years ago
Reply to  Bill

There is also another Jamie Moyer article by Joey Nowak at MLB.com.

http://tinyurl.com/6oq2tud

GARY
GARY
8 years ago

Wow,Rich.I’d forgotten that the former channel 4 anchorwomen did those voice overs for DIA.Thanks for reminding me of that piece of local trivia.

Mike Raysfan
Mike Raysfan
8 years ago

Good article Rich. I was thinking of “Welcome to Denver” as I was listening to the news this morning. Denver is ranked 7th in miserable sports cities. All I could think was wow.

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  Mike Raysfan

7th worst??? Serious? Wow, I would never have guessed with Denver having a professional team in all of the major sports leagues, teams that have excelled at one point by reaching the “big stage”. Other cities (i know SLC for one) only has an NBA and MLS team and would kill for an MLB and NHL team. Other places, like Vegas, have nothing (not to mention being blacked out of games involving the Angels, Giants, Diamondbacks, Athletics, Dodgers and Padres)… Read more »

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago

Thats lame. As futile as the Rockies and Nuggets have been, the Avs, Broncos and countless 2nd or 3rd tier sports teams have represented Denver very well.

Now, the college teams on the other hand probably sabotage our ranking. Its pretty embarrassing the lack of NCAA titles the state has.

DrRockies
Editor
DrRockies
8 years ago
Reply to  ProgMatinee

Prog the problem with looking at college titles is the focus is on “major” college sports titles. Over the years, DU Hockey has multiple titles, CU has numerous skiing national titles and some of the smaller schools (Adams State) have a ton of Track/Cross Country titles. These just don’t get the big time recognition that fans what to hear about. Sad but that is this generation. Whoever came up with that list I can bet is someone on one of… Read more »

sabrchip
sabrchip
8 years ago

Hey, Mike,

What’s the source for the ranking and how do they arrive at this #?

Anyone can make #s say whatever they like. Look at the Repubs and Fixed News.

I’d be more convinced if I could peruse the methodology.

Mike Raysfan
Mike Raysfan
8 years ago
Reply to  sabrchip

Yep it was Forbes and here is the link. I have not read the article. It was a topic of discussion on the radio this morning.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomvanriper/2012/02/28/americas-most-miserable-sports-cities/

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  Mike Raysfan

Ah, OK – i understand how the list is derived now…it seems like they are taking how many seasons combined each city has between all of their major teams and dividing that by how many titles they have as one of the factors…that would exclude a place like Vegas which is sports horrible for a fan (unless you bet) because they don’t have any teams…

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