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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Rockies’ rotation, led by ace Jon Gray, could be best in franchise history

Hope in Colorado.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2018 at 01:02 PM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rockies

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   1. puck Posted: February 11, 2018 at 01:45 PM (#5623212)
I would be surprised if last year's rotation wasn't the best in franchise history. There were the usual injuries (incl. to Gray) but they brought up other guys that pretty much all stepped right in. Jeff Hoffman had the worst ERA as a starter at 5.28 and that would be an ERA+ on bb-ref of what, around 96 or so? Pretty good for the worst starter ERA. I would also be surprised if there were not some regression this year.
   2. TomH Posted: February 11, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5623245)
The Rockies arms are probably going to be about as good as the Mets or DBacks in the NL; and thus the team would be a legit WC favorite, if they had let's say a good corner OFer or 2. An 850 OPS LF or RF or 1B shouldn't be that hard to find playing in Coors. If the Rockies aren't leading the league in runs, they aren't gonna win 85+ games.
   3. TomH Posted: February 11, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5623246)
I casn't read the article, so I don't know what other years they compare to. Which rotation IS the Rockies best ever?
   4. shoewizard Posted: February 11, 2018 at 03:59 PM (#5623264)
I would be surprised if last year's rotation wasn't the best in franchise history.


Depends on your metric of choice. By ERA- yes, it was. By FIP- it was 3rd best in franchise history. And by Fip based WAR it was also 3rd best, but by RA-9 WAR it was the best.



And by ERA+ 4th best.

Rk   Year ERA+
1    2010  112
2    2009  112
3    2007  112
4    2017  111
5    2000  110
6    1995  108
7    2006  106
8    1998  104
9    2011  103
10   2013  101
11   2001  101
12   2016   99
13   2008   99
14   1997   99
15   1999   97
16   1994   97
17   2003   95
18   2005   94
19   1996   93
20   2015   92
21   2002   92
22   2012   89
23   2004   89
24   2014   88
25   1993   88 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/11/2018.

   5. shoewizard Posted: February 11, 2018 at 04:02 PM (#5623265)
One other point about the Rockies.....they always get credit for having a better offense than they really have. They have been above 94 OPS+ just 9 times in 25 years. (94 being typical NL average). Last year their team OPS+ was 91.

The D Backs announcers are always going on about how great their offense is. Drives me batty

Rk   Year OPS+
1    2014  102
2    1997  100
3    1996   99
4    2007   98
5    2016   97
6    2001   97
7    2009   96
8    2004   95
9    1998   95
10   1995   94
11   2012   93
12   2003   93
13   2010   92
14   2017   91
15   2013   91
16   2006   90
17   2015   89
18   2008   89
19   2011   88
20   2002   88
21   1994   88
22   2000   87
23   1999   87
24   1993   87
25   2005   85 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/11/2018.
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: February 11, 2018 at 04:26 PM (#5623272)
I think those are all looking at the entire staff, shoe.

Strictly looking at rotations, it appears the 2009 group is the best in club history in most metrics (not surprising, since the lowest ERA+ of any of the five starters, none of whom started fewer than 25 games, was 108).
   7. puck Posted: February 11, 2018 at 06:12 PM (#5623296)
That 2009 team must be it. I'd forgotten how healthy they were. The 2017 team had really good depth though.

An 850 OPS LF or RF or 1B shouldn't be that hard to find playing in Coors.


So far this offseason they have not done much for the corners or 1B.


Looks like a mix of Parra (79 RC+ ZiPS projection), Dahl (98; missed nearly all of 2017 with injuries), Desmond (82), Tapia (77), and rookie Ryan McMahon (93).


Only Blackmon and Arenado project above 100 RC+ by ZiPS.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: February 11, 2018 at 06:56 PM (#5623303)
they always get credit for having a better offense than they really have. ... The D Backs announcers are always going on about how great their offense is.

But does either try to pull of the double whammy of old Cub (and I suspect Red Sox) announcers that since we play half the games in a small park, we don't have to worry about having OF defense either?
   9. Walt Davis Posted: February 11, 2018 at 06:59 PM (#5623304)
Only Blackmon and Arenado project above 100 RC+ by ZiPS.

Since Story's #1 comp is Alex Gonzalez, I assume his #2 comp is Alex Gonzalez.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: February 11, 2018 at 07:27 PM (#5623309)
But does either try to pull of the double whammy of old Cub (and I suspect Red Sox) announcers that since we play half the games in a small park, we don't have to worry about having OF defense either?


I would hope they don't say that about Colorado outfielders.
   11. shoewizard Posted: February 11, 2018 at 10:19 PM (#5623338)
Yes, the 2009 team's rotation was the best in Rockies history by ERA- Fip- and xFIP -

The 09 team also had the best FIP based WAR and RA-9 WAR. linky

   12. puck Posted: February 11, 2018 at 11:27 PM (#5623347)

I would hope they don't say that about Colorado outfielders.


They seem pretty big on OF defense, thankfully. Lots of ground to cover out there. And big on infield D too.
   13. Booey Posted: February 11, 2018 at 11:41 PM (#5623348)
Isn't "best Rockies rotation ever" sort of damning with faint praise?
   14. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 12, 2018 at 10:05 AM (#5623401)
That Desmond signing looks even more idiotic now than the day they made it. His bat won't play where they need people - corner OF and first base - and they're stacked at the infield positions where he might have made sense.

If Dahl is healthy, which is a huge if, Dahl-Tapia-Blackmon would probably be their best outfield. Carlos Gonzalez is trapped in the morass of unsigned free agents, but they could bring him back, too. They should assign Parra groundskeeping duties or something.
   15. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 12, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5623466)
Isn't "best Rockies rotation ever" sort of damning with faint praise?


Especially since they never had to face Chris Carter the year he had the greatest season of any DH in Astros history.
   16. PreservedFish Posted: February 12, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5623555)
Those stats posted by shoewizard strain credulity. The Rockies have basically never had an actually above average offense? And their pitching usually ranges from solid to excellent?

This is still the team of Larry Walker, Todd Helton, Troy Tulowitzki, Matt Holliday and Nolan Arenado, right? Have they ever had a pitcher of comparable quality? Ubaldo Jimenez was really something for a bit but pretty quick you're in Jeff Francis, Aaron Cook and Pedro Astacio land.
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: February 12, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5623575)
The Rockies have basically never had an actually above average offense?


Not quite. Because of the pitcher in the lineup, the average NL offense is around 94, not 100. The 2014 team, for instance, had the third-best OPS+ in the league.
   18. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 12, 2018 at 01:28 PM (#5623608)
The Coors hangover effect is going to exacerbate that problem. If Rockies hitters perform worse on the road than other hitters, that's going to unfairly exaggerate the nominal park effect. And Rockies hitters home/away splits are consistently much higher than their pitchers home/away splits.
   19. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 12, 2018 at 04:33 PM (#5623784)
This is still the team of Larry Walker, Todd Helton, Troy Tulowitzki, Matt Holliday and Nolan Arenado, right? Have they ever had a pitcher of comparable quality? Ubaldo Jimenez was really something for a bit but pretty quick you're in Jeff Francis, Aaron Cook and Pedro Astacio land.

Top Rockies pitchers by games started

.GS ERA+
206 106 Aaron Cook
200 105 Jorge De Los Santos
185  96 Jeff Francis
156 103 Jason Jennings
137 128 Ubaldo Jimenez
132  95 Jamey Wright
129 102 Pedro Astacio
109 120 Jhoulys Chacin
101 104 John Thomson
.98 100 Kevin Ritz 
   20. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 12, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5623797)
This could certainly be their best rotation ever.

Candidates for "Best Rockies rotation" by pitching WAR:

2006
5.0 Jason Jennings
3.9 Aaron Cook
3.2 Jeff Francis
0.4 Byung-Hyun Kim
0.2 Josh Fogg

2009
5.6 Ubaldo Jimenez
3.5 Jason Marquis
2.9 Aaron Cook
2.0 Jorge De La Rosa
2.0 Jason Hammel

2010
7.5 Ubaldo Jimenez
2.6 Jhoulys Chacin
1.6 Jorge De La Rosa
1.5 Jason Hammel
0.4 Jeff Francis
0.3 Aaron Cook

2013
5.8 Jhoulys Chacin
4.3 Jorge De La Rosa
3.4 Tyler Chatwood
0.2 Juan Nicasio
0.0 Jon Garland
-0.8 Jeff Francis

2017
3.3 Kyle Freeland
3.1 Jon Gray
3.1 German Marquez
2.2 Tyler Chatwood
2.1 Antonio Senzatela
1.3 Tyler Anderson
0.4 Jeff Hoffman (yes, they had 7 pitchers with 15+ starts, plus Chad Bettis with 9)
   21. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:44 PM (#5623839)
yes, they had 7 pitchers with 15+ starts, plus Chad Bettis with 9


That's one of the best reasons to be optimistic about the rotation. They have seven contenders for the rotation (with Chatwood now gone), all of them young and capable of taking a step forward. They can afford to have one or two of those guys completely fall apart, and they'll still be in good shape.

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