Here Come the Rockies

I’d hoped to interview a Rockies blogger for this segment, but no such luck, so you’re stuck with me. Colorado is probably the single most surprising team in the big leagues right now (you could make a case for Seattle in the American League); how are they doing it? Mostly by having a balanced attack. The Rockies are one of three National League teams (Braves and Mets are the others) whose OPS+ and ERA+ both are over 100.

The pitching, in particular, has been a revelation. We’ll get to that in a moment, but first, here’s a quick tale of the tape on the offensive side:

Padres vs Rockies, by Position
Pos Col SD
BA OBP SLG BA OBP SLG
Stats are through games of August 13, 2007, and are courtesy of Baseball-Reference.
C .244 .328 .357 .268 .337 .383
1B .291 .411 .452 .266 .339 .475
2B .274 .333 .378 .246 .317 .330
3B .276 .346 .464 .227 .291 .415
SS .279 .352 .434 .237 .276 .450
LF .343 .406 .587 .257 .345 .457
CF .302 .352 .376 .248 .318 .433
RF .284 .379 .552 .282 .362 .400

A few observations:

  • Taking park effects into consideration, the Padres hold a slight advantage behind the plate and in center field. The Rockies are superior everywhere else.
  • Brad Hawpe (.292/.390/.547) and Matt Holliday (.339/.401/.585) are complete monsters, but both are products of their environment. Hawpe loses more than 300 points of OPS away from Coors Field this year. Actually, he and Brian Giles are sort of polar opposites in right field. Hawpe is batting .253/.351/.420 on the road, while Giles checks in at .343/.409/.530. Holliday’s drop in OPS away from Coors is only about 200 points.
  • Troy Tulowitzki (.286/.362/.451) is having a fine rookie season, but it’s interesting to compare his road numbers this year to those of Khalil Greene. Tulowitzki is hitting .252/.335/.374 away from Coors; Greene’s road line is .267/.301/.498.
  • I love the way Todd Helton has reinvented himself. Helton’s power is in serious decline, and he’s probably never going to hit .340 again, even playing half his games in Denver, but the guy has tremendous strike-zone judgment and he continues to use that to his advantage. It would be more obvious if he called Coors Field home, but the aforementioned Giles is doing the same thing this season in San Diego. Smart players adapt.

To the pitchers…

Padres vs Rockies, Starters and Relievers
  Col SD
  IP/G ERA BA OBP SLG IP/G ERA BA OBP SLG
Stats are through games of August 13, 2007, and are courtesy of Baseball-Reference.
SP 6.00 4.62 .277 .333 .449 5.81 3.80 .255 .311 .383
RP 3.04 3.99 .266 .333 .394 3.35 3.08 .235 .305 .338

It troubles me that Colorado’s starters go deeper into games than do San Diego’s. Jeff Francis and the ridiculously efficient Aaron Cook have been outstanding at the front end, and even Josh Fogg has managed to keep his ERA under 5.00. The back end has been hit by injuries, which may cause problems down the stretch, but the Rockies find themselves in the thick of the NL West race in mid-August largely due to their pitching.

The bullpen, built in the mode of San Diego’s, has been remarkably effective all season. With closer Brian Fuentes on the disabled list, second-year man Manuel Corpas has stepped in and done the job for Colorado. Retreads such as Jeremy Affeldt, LaTroy Hawkins, and Jorge Julio all have made positive contributions as well.

Nobody is talking much about the Rockies, but they are a surprisingly solid club without any glaring weaknesses beyond possible rotation depth depending on the health of Jason Hirsh, Rodrigo Lopez, and others. I expect Colorado to be in the race pretty much the rest of the way.

Padres Prospect Report

by LynchMob

[Ed note: Long-time reader, prospect hound, and all-around good guy LynchMob is filling in for Peter Friberg this week.]

You will not see all the notable performances from the night before, but you will see the notable performances from those who are actually prospects.

Friday, August 10, 2007

AAA

Clay Hensley: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO, 0 HR

AA

Matt Antonelli: 5 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 0 RBI; 2 SO
Will Venable: 4 AB, 3 R, 2 H, 1 RBI; HR, BB, SB
Chase Headley: 4 AB, 0 R, 2 H, 2 RBI; 2B, BB
Mike Ekstrom: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO, 0 HR

High-A

Mike Baxter: 5 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 1 RBI
Craig Cooper: 4 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 0 RBI; 2B

Low-A

No significant performances…

Short Season-A

Luis Durango: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 1 RBI; BB, SO, SB
Jeremy McBryde: 3.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO, 0 HR

Rookie

Alexis Lara: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR – I have no idea…

Commentary:

I heard Grady Fuson on the radio a couple days ago say that Headley got real discouraged (and subsequently slumped) when the Padres acquired Morgan Ensberg. Fuson went on to say that they had to talk to Headley to reassure him of he was still in their plans and get him going again. It’s good to see another multi-hit game with another extra-base hit (55 XBH on the season and the second consecutive day with a double).

Saturday, August 11, 2007

AAA

Craig Stansberry: 4 AB, 0 R, 2 H, 1 RBI
Brian Myrow: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 1 RBI; 1 HR (#13) – .352/.436/.609
Tim Stauffer: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

AA

Matt Antonelli: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; BB, SO
Wade LeBlanc: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO

High-A

David Freese: 4 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 0 RBI; 2B, SO

Low-A

Cory Luebke: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO

Short Season-A

Luis Durango: 3 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; BB – .367/.419/.488

Rookie

Drew Cumberland: 6 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 0 RBI – .387/.424/.387 in 31 AB

Commentary:

At what point does Brian Myrow earn a shot with the Padres? At least a September callup?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

AAA

Craig Stansberry: 5 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 4 RBI; 3B, HR (#10)

AA

Chase Headley: 5 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 1 RBI; HR (#19)
Chad Huffman: 4 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 1 RBI
Will Inman: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO (now 3-0, 1.96)

High-A

David Freese: 5 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 2 RBI; CS
Craig Cooper: 4 AB, 3 R, 2 H, 1 RBI; BB, SO

Low-A

No significant performances…

Short Season-A

Mitch Canham: 5 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 1 RBI; 2 SO, HR (#2)
Kellen Kulbacki: 5 AB, 2 R, 4 H, 2 RBI; SO, 2 2B, 3B

Rookie

No game.

Commentary:

I went to the Eugene game Sunday night… Kulbacki was putting good wood on the ball (3 XBHs)… Canham’s home run was a high pop that the wind took just over the fence…

Monday, August 13, 2007

AAA

Craig Stansberry: 5 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 3 RBI; 2B, SO

AA

None.

High-A

Matt Buschmann: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO (12-6, 2.89)

Low-A

None.

Short Season-A

Mat Latos: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO

Rookie

Drew Cumberland: 5 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 2 RBI; 3B

Commentary:

Pretty blah night down on the farm…

Thanks, LynchMob! First of three against the Rockies at Petco Monday night at 7:05 p.m. PT. You know the drill. Rock on…

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98 Responses »

  1. Check out this off season rumor coming out of Chicago!

    http://www.dailysouthtown.com/sports/509010,141SPT3.article

    They might be right that Williams wants Greene but I think the Padres side of the deal seems a little unrealistic.

  2. #1: Jon Garland and Brian Anderson for Khalil Greene, Heath Bell, and a pitching prospect or two? That’s not unrealistic, that’s downright hilarious. Take away Bell and the pitching prospects, and I’m still not sure it makes sense for the Padres.

  3. Just when I think we have troubles, I see the Dodgers got more, and that pleases me. Rockies give us trouble and they are feeling it. Lets give them a good game by taking some pitches, working counts, looking for quality pitches to drive. Stop swinginig for the fences and choke up a bit maybe. Be the ball, Padre hitter. Tap into your inner T Gywnn, perhaps take a moment of silence in the pron poistion before the TG statue (hitting Mecca?) before the game. If we can hit just a little, we usually win.

    We are at home, we are three games back, its dark and we are wearing sun glasses. Let Go!

  4. Geoff, what are the team splits for road and home between the Rox and the Padres. It’s interesting to see the two extremes playing against one another at Petco. We’re always quick to lambast Petco for its offensive suppression, but it’s always interesting to remember that Coors field (though not as dramatic as it used to be), also has an effect on its players.

    Also, that trade is comical. I’m glad people are asking about Khalil as it will hopefully get KT and SA to realize that he is a valuable commodity, despite his offensive inconsistencies.

  5. Re: 1…most of you know that I have been advocating a trade of KG for as long as I have posted to this blog, but this made me laugh out loud…reminded me of the trade rumors last year regarding a trade of Jake Peavy to Boston for Mike Lowell…Yup, another big market seeing the Pads as just a place for fish tacos, laid back attitudes, and stupid people…or something like that.

  6. #1 Obviously this writer does not know much about the padres roster and or philosophy.

    No way do the Pads trade Bell or any real pitching prospects (Inman, Geer, Leblanc, Ayala ect..) this off season, they are all cheap and have several years before they are arbitration eligible.

    Also there is no way the Pads will trade Greenie this off season as well, who could they get that’s an upgrade? They wont over pay for a FA and im not sure what other SS will be on the block in the offseason.

  7. Re: 6 who would you like for the Padres to try and acquire to play SS this in the off season?

  8. #5: Here you go…

    SD
    home: .232/.304/.369
    road: .255/.321/.424

    Col
    home: .299/.373/.477
    road: .255/.331/.381

    The Padres score about one more run every three games on the road than do the Rockies. Also, according to this article, the Padres scored more runs on the road than any other team in the NL over the period 2004-2006.

  9. Some names that come to me as guys of interest…Aaron Hill (Tor), Ryan Theriot (Chi), and Adam Everett (Hou)…

    I have always thought that KG was overrated both at the plate and in the field…and really think that his value to the Padres as trade bait would be higher than his value to the Pads when we have to resign him…

    Obviously, the problem lies in the names above…I think Hill would be the most palatable, but that does not mean that we would be able to pry him away from Tor…Everett and Theriot have problems as well, starting with the relative weakness we have in the line-up already.

  10. I always enjoy it when writers from other cities think the Padres are going to act like their home town team’s AAA affiliate. Ok, so the Padres are going to trade their starting shortstop(4M) possibly the best set up man in baseball(500k) and prospects to get an average starting pitcher making 10M and a former top prospect who can’t seem to beat out Scott Podesdnik for AB’s…something about that doesn’t seem exactly right.

  11. One of the other problems with trading KG at this point, 2B is a disaster and there isn’t a lot of good FA options at either spot. I think I’d rather see them keep KG for at least 1 more and hit him 8th where he’ll get a few free BB to help that OBP.

  12. Here’s something for you GY – Beyond the Boxscore looks back at the A-Gon/Chris Young Deal.

    http://tinyurl.com/2dbarn

  13. Olney is reporting that the Igawa deal is dead

  14. #7: Guys who might be available at the big-league level and amount remaining on current contract:

    –Alex Gonzalez, Cin, $10M through ’09, plus $6M mutual option in ’10 (or $.5M buyout); age 31 next year, current line .262/.317/.475
    –Miguel Tejada, Bal: $26M through ’09; age 32, .299/.347/.430
    –Michael Young, Tex: $80M through ’13; age 31, .305/.360/.414
    –Jack Wilson, Pit: $13.75M through ’09, plus $8.4M club option in ’10 (or $.6M buyout); age 30, .269/.322/.378
    –Julio Lugo, Bos: $27M through ’10, with a $9M vesting option in ’11 dependent on PAs; age 32, .238/.299/.343
    –Bobby Crosby, Oak: $8.75M through ’09; age 28, .226/.278/.341

    I’ll pass…

  15. #1 – I’m not sure that the Padres would want Garland if he were waived and available for free. Looking at his low SO rates and horrible K/BB rates and he just seems like a guy on the verge of collapse.

  16. #10: Hill is stretched at shortstop, really more of a second baseman (although we could use one of those). Theriot is a little better, but strikes me as more of a utility player. Everett is a brilliant defender, but his bat is pretty much in Rey Ordonez territory. I suppose that would at least give us a different reason to be frustrated at our shortstop. ;-)

    #13: Thanks, RD. Even though I’ve analyzed that trade to death myself, it never gets old. :-)

  17. Please don’t trade me. I’ll make you pay!!

  18. #17: No problemo, figured you had. But I couldn’t resist the stuff over there at Beyond the Box Score. Though I suggest staying away from playing Fantasy Baseball with them, I got my butt handed to me last year. Hence, my own league this year, which I’m still getting my butt kicked. LOL

  19. Thanks for stepping in for Peter, Lynch. Great stuff. It’s nice to see Latos stretching out a little and retaining effectiveness.

  20. Theriot has had some abysmal games in the field this year. We’re talking muffs of very routine balls.

    Now I’m a self-professed Khalil lover, but I’ve never understood the hate that gets directed at him. He’s a fantabulous defender (as any broadcase team will attest to) and he has serious power for a SS.

    Sure, it’s frustrating as hell to watch him be inconsistent. As someone who’s one of his biggest fans, I get more frustrated than most I would imagine. Still, I don’t think any readily available SS could fill the hole that ditching Khalil would create. Given what Khalil brings to the table, he’s a more than capable SS for the Padres. If other people on this team produced as they were expected to, we really wouldn’t mind Khalil’s OBP and AVG nearly as much.

    His numbers this year are deceptive as well. His K rates are down from last year, as well as his BABIP.

  21. Hey, LM. Great stuff. Thanks for the live update from Eugene.

    10,15: If Greene would just walk a bit more, he’ll be the perfect TTO player for the Padres. Considering that the lineup has nobody hitting and there really isn’t any SS from FA or the farm system ready to step in, I see no reason to trade Khalil Greene.

    His road numbers is quite a bit better than his home numbers. Also, he hit HR at Petco about equally as on the road. I don’t see Adam Everett hitting anything even if his glove is awesome. Of course, he may just fit into the Padres’ lineup perfectly. ;)

  22. I think a lot of the complaints about KG center around his horrific OBP which is only partially a function of his BA. He could help the offense a lot by mixing in a BB every once in a while, it is also frustrating because many people were expecting him to improve at the big league level, which really hasn’t happened.

    Bottom line, in terms of VORP(thanks BP!) KG is the 18th most valuable ss in baseball. Looking at the list and who would possibly be available in the off season I can’t imagine the Padres finding anyone else likely to be much better on the field. Considering his popularity with the fans and still under arbitration control, I think it might be time to try and improve at other spots…..I’m looking at you 2B!

  23. Greenie is 2nd on the team in RBI and tied for first with HR’s and 2nd in slg, with as poor of a lineup as the padres have I don’t think they can give up that kind of production from a position that does not give you much offensive production in the first place.

    Im not sure why people pick on Greenie who on this team would you want to see at the plate with one out and a man in scoring position, to be honest the only person I like in that spot is Bradley, OG and Adrian when he is not in his mid season slump.

  24. Hmmm….this is interesting.

    Looking at THT, Khalil’s LD% is the lowest of his career at 17.1%. I wonder if he’s trying to slug more as indicated by his %XBH. BTW, his TB this season is already higher than that last 2 season and approaching his rookie season’s total. His P/PA and BABIP is the lowest in his career but his SLG is the highest.

    And he’s only making $380,000. That’s quite a deal. They must be growing some excellent grade weeds in the South Side of Chicago.

  25. Re: 25 LD%?

  26. Should be an interesting off season as far as FA goes: By my count the Padres are going to at least need a LF,CF, 2B and possibly a catcher as well as a SP(or two) and the usual stuff to make the bullpen function properly.

    However they will have quite a lot of money to spend:as of my count they only have about 40M committed for next season.

  27. Re: 28

    LF P-Mac/Headly
    CF Yordany Ramirez
    2B Antonelli
    SP Germano
    SP Hensley
    C Laforest/Hundley

  28. I really dont think the Padres will sign anyone this offseason to a deal longer than 1 year with a team option for 09 (see NOG and Maddux) nor do I think they should unless its a CF.

  29. Yordany Ramirez is not an acceptable option in center. He has a career .286 OBP in the minors. The guy cannot hit at all.

    Bard has quietly had a decent year, with a 98 OPS+. I don’t think any of the free agent options represent much of an upgrade over him (with the exception of Posada, who’s not coming here), so I like going into next year with Bard behind the plate spelled by LaForest. If Hundley keeps hitting he can come up midseason and compete to start in 2009.

  30. #23: One interesting point that gets overlooked, and this is by no means a defense of NOG, is that we have gotten slightly better production out of him than Cleveland has out of Barfield:

    NOG: .223/.295/.307, 63 OPS+, .988 FPct, 4.92 RF (4.30 league average)
    Barfield: .246/.274/.328, 61 OPS+, .977 FPct, 4.98 RF (4.58 league average)

    NOG has done a better job of getting on base (bleh!) and has been more reliable on defense. I know, crap vs crap, but still…

  31. I think the 08/09 off-season is an interesting year for Padre FA, do they re-sign Giles? He would not have the leverage to command a multi year or big money, He fits in the padres Philosophy as a leadoff guy and he wants to stay in SD. Do they trade Bard, Greenie and Peavey who will all become un-restricted FA at the end of the year?

    That is the year that any major re-building process will take place.

    I think they will patch work together a roster this coming off season, try to sell the fans on the pitching again and they will be in the NL west race until the end of the season (see 2004 – current season)

  32. 32.

    That is brutal! Sad but brutal!!!

  33. 33.

    That is a good point. If they are going “re-build” it’s going to be this off-season I imagine. Outside of Santana Peavy would be the biggest trading chip heading into FA in the league probably. I would hate to think about trading Jake but I would love to hear what teams might be willing to offer.

  34. Re: 31 I was really being sarcastic in #29 here is what I really think will happen:

    LF Rob Mackowiak (they have a team option on him)
    CF Bradley 1 year deal
    C Bard starting Laforest on the bench
    2B Tony Graffanino, Mark Grudzielanek, or Tadahito Iguchi will sign a 1 year deal and compete for the job with Antonelli in ST
    SP Germano (has looked better in last few starts)
    SP Hensley (Healthy)

    They also may possibly get:
    Ausmus to back up and mentor Bard
    Jennings to a minor league deal and will compete with Hensley/Germano in ST

  35. 1: That deal is just insane. Where did that writer come up with that deal?

  36. Re: 35 I think they will rebuild in the 08/09 off season not this upcoming one.

  37. re 33: I think it is a little early to already write off the resigning of either KG or Peavy. The Braves only look to be able to spend 90M per year and it isn’t like they don’t already have some serious commitments for 2009 and beyond.

    It would certainly be nice to find another 1-2 guys this off season that could be penciled into the plans for a few seasons.

  38. I think ideally the Padres would like Kouzmanoff in LF, Headley at 3B, and Antonelli at 2B. Not sure how realistic that’s going to be as I’m not sure that the last two will be ready (they are only in AA next year). I think it’s more likely that we will see place-holders in those infield positions — maybe Ensberg at 3B, hopefully not Blum at 2B. As far as CF goes, who knows? Not sure that Bradley can handle the position anymore and a half season is probably enough of him. I think that Bard is probably going to stay here for next year, he’s not terrible and he’s won’t make a ton next year.

    As far as Greene goes, I think people focus too much on what he can’t do (take the first pitch, lay off the slider down and away) as opposed to what he can do (field, hit for power, hit on the road). He’s not a top five SS, but we could do a lot worse.

  39. SA is down on KG which is why I think they will not sign him to a multi-year deal, and Peavy will get crazy money from other teams and I think he wants to move back down South or to the midwest where he has a ranch with Roy Oswalt.

    Look at what the A’s did with the big 3.

  40. 41: I think that if (fingers crossed) Khalil finishes this season healthy and ends up with 20 to 25 Hrs, the FO would sign him to like a 2-year extension. Khalil is still unbelievably popular with the fans and we really don’t have a credible option for replacing him.

    23: What is his ranking amongst strictly NL SS? Of all the NL West SS, the only person that outperforms Khalil offensively is Tulowitski. I don’t know much about Troy’s D, but I’d be surprised if it was as good as Khalil’s.

  41. Re: 42 I could see the FO signing him to a 2 year deal to avoid arbitration but I dont see them giving him a 3-4 year deal like I think most other teams would.

  42. 42: His defense is better. Tulowitzki is probably the best defensive SS in the NL now that Everett is out.

  43. 27 … I think “LD%” is “Line Drive Percentage” … I don’t see it as a stat available at ESPN … Didi – where do you see current LD%?

  44. Tulowitzki is a stud, since Greenie owns the Rockies maybe the pads could swap Greenie and a pitching prospect for him. I dont think the rockies would make that deal but a guy can dream.

  45. Re: 45 thanks LM

  46. 26, 27: Thanks for the correction. LD% is percentage of line drives.
    That’s still a deal for a slugging SS that can field.

    42: I heard Troy’s glove is as good as Khalil if not more. Then, again, he plays half the season at Coors Canaveral where his home numbers are way better than his road numbers.

  47. 45: LM, I use the THT stats at their site.

    NL SS stats: http://tinyurl.com/37mhne

  48. 48: I meant that Troy’s offensive stats not his fielding.

  49. 42 … you can see VORP for NL SS’s here …

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/sortable/index.php?cid=206234

    #	NAME	                  TEAM	PA	VORP
    
    1	Hanley Ramirez	FLO	503	67.7
    2	Jose Reyes	      NYN	550	47.2
    3	Edgar Renteria	ATL	463	43.9
    4	Jimmy Rollins	PHI	562	41.6
    5	Troy Tulowitzki	COL	474	22.1
    6	J.j. Hardy	      MIL	470	19.3
    7	Cristian Guzman	WAS	191	16.6
    8	Alex Gonzalez	CIN	374	13.8
    9	Ryan Theriot	CHN	416	11.6
    10	Jeff Keppinger	CIN	94	10
    11	Khalil Greene	SDN	457	9.9
    12	Rafael Furcal	LAN	501	9.9
    13	David Eckstein	SLN	320	8.3
    .