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Monday, August 06, 2012

Rockies’ Todd Helton out for season, bound for surgery on hip

Helton: The Tragically Hip.

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Todd Helton’s season is over.

The Rockies’ veteran first baseman will undergo arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip. The surgery, to be performed Friday, marks the end of Helton’s 15th season in the major leagues.

“The recovery time is about six months, so I am doing this now so I can be ready for spring training. I plan on playing next year,” Helton told The Denver Post on Monday morning.

...The sore hip has bothered Helton since early June during a road trip to Arizona. It hindered Helton’s ability to lift his right leg at the plate, throwing off his timing. Helton, a five-time all-star and three-time Gold Glove winner, has also struggled moving to his right on groundballs hit between first and second.

Helton, a career .320 hitter, is batting just .238 this season, the worst average of his career.

Repoz Posted: August 06, 2012 at 03:28 PM | 53 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rockies

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   1.   Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4201697)
I thought he retired three years ago.
   2. SG Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4201700)
Seriously, I did too. How much longer is he signed for?
   3. JJ1986 Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4201701)
Not only is Todd Helton still playing, but his backup is the even more undead Jason Giambi.
   4. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4201702)
Todd Helton! I remember him!

Upon further investigation he actually got MVP votes three years ago. And his groundbreaking 35-year contract extension ends after next year.
   5. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4201707)
Helton's signed through 2013, but "only" at $5M a year.

For a team with so much interesting young talent, the Rockies have been shockingly bad this year. That pitching staff is atrocious.
   6. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4201720)
Not only is Todd Helton still playing, but his backup is the even more undead Jason Giambi.


Actually Giambi is also on the DL, as is the relatively youthful Michael Cuddyer who has gotten most of the other 1B starts. For the meantime the role of Rockies 1B will be played by either Tyler Colvin or somebody named "McBride".

Looking at the Rockies BB-ref page... holy cats, that red-green bar graph looks horrible. Since the All-Star break they're 5-16 and have a team ERA of 6.51. They are 9-22 in blowouts, and three of their blowout wins somehow came on three straight days (May 30-June 1 - only two were against the Astros).

According to the Mayo Clinic website, a hip labral tear involves the ring of soft elastic tissue, called the labrum, that follows the outside rim of the socket of the hip joint. The labrum acts like a socket to hold the ball at the top of the thighbone (femur) in place.

Symptoms typically included hip pain and a "catching sensation" when sudden movements are made.


A catching sensation? I know Wilin Rosario has been good this year, but he still looks like, at best, the next Miguel Olivo.
   7. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4201731)
[double post]
   8. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4201735)

I like Helton, and he's supposedly a good fielder which has made him a pretty good player even when he's not hitting that well. Still, something seems wrong with the Rockies have a starting 1B who hasn't hit more than 20 HR in a season in 8 years.
   9. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4201738)
Looking at the Rockies BB-ref page... holy cats, that red-green bar graph looks horrible. Since the All-Star break they're 5-16 and have a team ERA of 6.51. They are 9-22 in blowouts, and three of their blowout wins somehow came on three straight days (May 30-June 1 - only two were against the Astros).
According to BBRef's WAR, their best player is Matt Belisle. Ouch.
   10. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4201742)
So...Helton's done, yes?

Let's see...2,420 hits, 354 HR (in Coors...wink wink, nudge nidge), no rings, no MVPs, but 58.5 WAR and 164 HOF Monitor.

Naah, he doesn't get in.
   11. JJ1986 Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4201744)
They don't have a single pitcher who has started a game who has an ERA+ over 92. That's 13 different guys.
   12. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4201746)
That pitching staff is atrocious.

Fun fact: 74 of the Rockies 96 games not started by Jamie Moyer were by pitchers with worse ERAs than Moyer. Yikes.
   13. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4201747)
Cuddyer is the highest-paid Rockie this year.
   14. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4201748)
A catching sensation? I know Wilin Rosario has been good this year, but he still looks like, at best, the next Miguel Olivo.


Rosario is a terrible defensive catcher, but he sure hits the ball a long way. He's tied with Brian McCann for most homers among NL catchers this year, even though Rosario hasn't been the starter for the whole season.
   15. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4201750)
According to BBRef's WAR, their best player is Matt Belisle. Ouch.

Even better: the Rox have 18 players -- 8 position players and 10 pitchers -- with negative WARs. Can't anybody here play this game?
   16. Steve Treder Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4201751)
They don't have a single pitcher who has started a game who has an ERA+ over 92. That's 13 different guys.

Yeah, it's amazing. This is an epic bad staff.
   17. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4201753)
According to BBRef's WAR, their best player is Matt Belisle. Ouch.


BBRef's WAR is useless. Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler are both having very good seasons, even if BBref has them an inch behind Belisle.

Cuddyer is the highest-paid Rockie this year.


I believe he's actually tied with Jorge de la Rosa, who hasn't pitched in a game this year.
   18. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4201755)
BBRef's WAR is useless. Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler are both having very good seasons, even if BBref has them an inch behind Belisle.
This is true, it's still just amusing to see Belisle's name there. Well, amusing if you're not a Rockies fan, I will concede.
   19. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4201756)
BBRef's WAR is useless. Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler are both having very good seasons, even if BBref has them an inch behind Belisle.

Maybe Belisle is pitching from behind second base and making plays way outside his range.
   20. Sweatpants Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4201764)
Still, something seems wrong with the Rockies have a starting 1B who hasn't hit more than 20 HR in a season in 8 years.
I think that the Rockies without Helton would be a stranger sight than the Rockies without power at first base. This is the franchise's twentieth season, and they've had basically two first basemen in their history - Helton and Andres Galarraga.
   21. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 06, 2012 at 05:04 PM (#4201769)
I never noticed the "positional starters" page before. In 20 years they've had 15 starting second basemen, 13 starting catchers, and 2 starting first basemen.

Quick everyone, name the 5 players who've started the most games at 1B for the Rockies.

1. Helton 2068
2. Galarraga 677
3. _________ 105
4. _________ 78
5. _________ 44
   22. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: August 06, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4201774)
I never noticed the "positional starters" page before.


I'd never noticed it before either. I was doing the math like a sucker.
   23. stanmvp48 Posted: August 06, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4201775)
Possibly Garret atkins has about 44. Back to Rosario; the guy is indeed a bad defensive catcher and can't yet hit a curve ball. He does pound fast balls however. I have the impression that a high percentage of his homers have occurred when they are getting blown out and the pitcher isn't going to finesse him. Just an impression.
   24. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: August 06, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4201784)
John Vander Wal?
   25.   Posted: August 06, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4201796)
Uh, I assume Giambi must have played 1B at some point.
   26. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 06, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4201809)
Atkins took over at first when Helton missed half the 2008 season with back surgery. He's either the 105 or the 78. Giambi is probably the 44.
   27. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 06, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4201815)
Correct - All three are from the late Helton era - Atkins, Giambi, and future Cubs legend Jeff Baker.

Vander Wal is probably next, with 41 starts over 3 1/2 seasons before he was traded to the Padres.

Jerald Clark, Greg Colbrunn, Angel Echevarria, and Ryan Shealy are even lower down the list.
   28. stanmvp48 Posted: August 06, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4201823)
Atkins is only 32 years old. One of the things that went wrong is that ok players such as Atkins and Hawpe went bad early. Cuddyer I suppose is slightly better than Hawpe but is actually older-and quite expensive.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: August 06, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4201847)
Yeah, it's amazing. This is an epic bad staff.

Oh, I don't know about that. The 2002 Rays did have one starter manage a 98 ERA+ but had only one pitcher on the entire staff with 30+ IP and an ERA over 100 -- Esteban Yan at 103. The staff ERA+ was 84, a couple points worse than the Rox. The 2008 Pirates had an 82 ERA+. The execrable 2003 Tigers had an 81 which wasn't that much worse than the 2002 Tigers mark of 86. And of course the 2012 Astros stand at 84 despite several above-average pitchers (by ERA+). The Twins are at 86 too.

But, wow, the 2012 Indians are down at 81. Zach McAllister has given them 11 starts at 113 ERA+ (and peripherals to match!), otherwise their "top" starter is Masterson at 81.

It probably is rare not to have at least one guy start a game and have an ERA+ over 100 but this level of overall crappiness is pretty standard for crappy teams.
   30. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 06, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4201849)
Even better: the Rox have 18 players -- 8 position players and 10 pitchers -- with negative WARs.

To be fair, when a team has pitchers with negative WARs, the logical thing to do is replace them with other pitchers from the minors who will probably also have negative WARs. With the Rockies having used a whopping 24 pitchers in the first 96 games of the season, I'm surprised they don't have 14 or 16 pitchers with negative WARs.
   31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 06, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4201872)
I know Wilin Rosario has been good this year, but he still looks like, at best, the next Miguel Olivo.


Rosario is currently carrying a 98 OPS+ for 2012, as a 23-year-old.

The first time Olivo put up an OPS+ that high or higher, he was 30.
   32. just plain joe Posted: August 06, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4201902)
I believe he's actually tied with Jorge de la Rosa, who hasn't pitched in a game this year.


Money for nothing, and your chicks for free.
   33. The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: August 06, 2012 at 07:58 PM (#4201917)
Moyer's ERA+ would make him the 3rd best member of that rotation. Yowsa.
   34. Tubbs & Minnie Miñoso don't fear Sid Monge Posted: August 06, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4201941)
If Helton doesn't make it back, we may have seen the end of Vlad, Abreu, Damon, & Helton all in one season--all fringe HOFers (though none of them are officially retired yet.
   35. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 06, 2012 at 08:59 PM (#4201960)
If Helton doesn't make it back, we may have seen the end of Vlad, Abreu, Damon, & Helton all in one season--all fringe HOFers (though none of them are officially retired yet.


Huh? Vlad's a no-doubter, and Damon and Abreu have basically no chance.

Not saying that's necessarily what it should be, but it's what it is.
   36. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 06, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4201964)
Huh? Vlad, Damon and Abreu have basically no chance.

Not saying that's necessarily what it should be, but it's what it is.
   37. SoSH U at work Posted: August 06, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4201969)
I'm with Vlad (both of them). He may have to wait a few ballots, but he's going in (the ballplayer, not the Pittsburgher).
   38. AROM Posted: August 06, 2012 at 09:27 PM (#4201977)
Moyer's ERA+ would make him the 3rd best member of that rotation. Yowsa.


They gave up on that kid way too soon.
   39. Tubbs & Minnie Miñoso don't fear Sid Monge Posted: August 06, 2012 at 09:27 PM (#4201978)
I agree with SoSH that Vlad will get in--albeit after several ballots. Damon w/o 3,000 hits is a major longshot, Abreu even more so. Helton's candidacy will be interesting, he's spent his career at an extreme hitter's park playing a hitter's position (1st base), with an excellent glove.
   40. Walt Davis Posted: August 06, 2012 at 10:38 PM (#4202022)
I hesitate due to the crowded ballot apocalypse but in normal circumstances I think Vlad probably gets in first ballot and almost certainly not more than three. Obviously the situations aren't identical but I think he'll get treated like Puckett.

And if Helton gets any sort of healthy vote total then the League of Not-Quite-Extraordinary 1B (Delgado, McGriff, Cash, Hernandez, Olerud, Clark) and Larry Walker should rise up in arms.
   41. toratoratora Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:26 AM (#4202083)
Heck. Right now, per baseball-reference, the Sox starters have OPS+'s of 81,97,95,96,83,83,66 and 139 (Go Franklin Morales in your 6 starts)-they're almost as bad as the Rox.
   42. shoewizard Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:31 AM (#4202085)
No matter how crappy Helton has been over the last few years, I never felt comfortable with him at the plate in any key situation. He has just burned the D Backs so many times. His .977 OPS against AZ is the highest against any NL West Team. And that includes 50 PA's against Randy Johnson (.675 OPS against RJ).

Even his OPS against the current D backs pitching staff is .822, and when he did get his hits, it seems like they always came at a key time. He had a walk off HR against JJ Putz earlier this year.

Ball park effects in his peak, pre humidor, and then playing with a bad back and soggy balls taking away his HR power probably have really hurt his HOF chances. But Helton was a great player.....a player that you HATED as a division rival. Although I am loathe to root for ANY Colorado Rockie, it would not be a bad thing if he recovered and had a decent swan song season for them and went out on a high note.

Still....a huge part of me wants to end this post with a #### You Todd Helton. Thats what a pain in the arse he's been.
   43. stanmvp48 Posted: August 07, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4202129)
A walk off HR against JJ Putz with soggy balls! Impressive indeed.
   44. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4202173)
I guess I never really though of Vlad as a guy that would sail in, but man I forgot his numbers were that good. Still, his career is not that dissimilar than Jeff Bagwells, and Bagwell hasn't gotten in yet. I know some of that is 'roid suspicion, but I also think some is that Bagwell was never a super-duper star, he was in that second-tier of stars, and I think that's where Vlad fit as well. I suspect it takes a few ballots, but he gets in.
   45. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4202176)
I always felt Helton would do quite well in the HoF vote. I'd give him at least a 50/50 shotof getting in.
   46. JJ1986 Posted: August 07, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4202182)
Food for thought: Did Abreu or Vlad have a better career? They have very close numbers in WAA and WAR. They're both about -10 on D. Vlad has better batting rates, but Abreu had great in-season durability.
   47. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 07, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4202185)
I honestly think the Hall of Fame voters will induct less than three people per year over the next fifteen years. The Hall of Fame will become a completely different institution from what it has been. Reform is going to come slowly.
   48. AROM Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4202248)
I guess I never really though of Vlad as a guy that would sail in, but man I forgot his numbers were that good.


I thought he'd get to 500 homers and make a run at 3000 hits. Vlad has a lot more of the feel of HOFer than Abreu, but it's not backed up by reality. I thought Vlad would have the superior peak, but even there it's not much of a difference. Vlad wins the fear factor hands down. Look at intentional walks - Vlad has more than twice as many even though lefties normally get more of those (relative to batting ability). But Abreu beat you just as much as Vlad did.

Vlad's final great moment as an Angel was his go-ahead, 2 run bloop single off Papelbon. Part of the reason he was able to do that was Abreu, 2 batters earlier, hitting one off the wall.
   49. Booey Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4202445)
Similar WAR or not, I suspect Abreu will be one and done on the HOF ballot, whereas Vlad will get Bagwell type support and eventually get elected (as Bags will be).

In the eyes of the voters, Vlad's .318 average, big power edge, 200 hit seasons, and MVP award (and several other top 10 finishes) will give him a big leg up over Abreu's candidacy.
   50. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4202531)
In the eyes of the voters, Vlad's .318 average, big power edge, 200 hit seasons, and MVP award (and several other top 10 finishes) will give him a big leg up over Abreu's candidacy.
I agree with this. Vlad was clearly more highly regarded by writers during his time, in large part because his skills are more obvious than Abreu's. But Vlad is 33rd in career MVP shares. The only people ahead of him unlikely to get in on performance issues (as opposed to PED issues, gambling, etc.) or already in is Dave Parker.

Abreu is 792nd all-time.

Vlad's in. Bobby's out.
   51. Tubbs & Minnie Miñoso don't fear Sid Monge Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4202539)
Also, being a well traveled player whose teams won WS after he left (Philly 08, NYY 09) won't help Abreu. Damon was also well traveled but was a big part of Boston & NYY's successful postseason runs. Being a one franchise guy will help Helton. Interestingly, Vlad may join Dawson, Carter & hopefully Raines as another Expo representative in the HOF, unless the Hall puts him in as an Angel
   52. Booey Posted: August 07, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4202660)
I suspect Helton will get Walker/McGriff type support and stay around on the ballot for the duration without ever coming close to election. I don't really see him getting enshrined like Vlad or dropped like Abreu.

His (Coors inflated) rate stats are too pretty to just completely ignore, but I suspect his power numbers will just be too low for the voters for a guy who played his entire career at an offensive position, in the height of the sillyball era, and in possibly the most offense-inflating ballpark of all time.

   53. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 08, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4203134)
This much-maligned pitching staff has now given up one run over the past two games.

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