Rocky Road.

 

     From a GM’s perspective, evaluating a Colorado player is truly a rocky and difficult task.  All I can say is; be wary of acquring a Rockies’ hitter at the deadline.  And be cautious also of what young promising prospects that may be dealt in order to get whoever is chosen. 

 

     Humidors or not, the Rockies are a much better offensive team at home, as they have been for many years now.  I wrote about this last season, but it is continuing in 2008 also.  The Colorado Rockies Home OPS is .825, second to only the Cubs of the 16 NL teams.  This OPS translates into the second most runs per game also, behind the Cubs once again.  But on the road they are terrible…Again!.  They fall in at 15th in Road OPS (.665), ahead of only the Arizona Diamondbacks.  And the Rockies are actually dead last in runs per game on the road with a miserable 3.53 runs a game.  Basically, the Rockies on the road have the same OPS that Julio Lugo’s has averaged out to be during the first two years of his contract with the Red Sox.   

 

     But it gets even more interesting…The pitchers are performing close, in both their home and road numbers, for the second straight season.  At home they have given up 5.15 runs/game.  But on the road they have given up even more, 5.37.  Either way their pitching has been terrible, but that is beside the point right now.  There isn’t too much of a difference between the splits. 

 

     So what exactly are the humidors doing?  

 

     Let me take Matt Holliday and use him as an example, since he will be the most sought after position player.  In Matt Holliday’s career at home his line looks like this:  .364/.427/.659.  That is great.  Those numbers are easily worthy of the Hall of Fame.  But on the road he has been a completely different hitter.  Line:  .277/.342/.450.  That is solid but far from special.  And in the past two years he has still been putting up great numbers in Colorado, but his numbers on the road have increased as well.  Yet the splits are still over a difference 150 percentage points of OPS 

 

     So I admit, Matt Holliday may be a wise choice, but if I were a GM then I would make sure that I am not sacrificing the future for a player like him.  But as a team, they are tremendous at home, and terrible on the road.  Do they have some elaborate sign stealing scheme with cameras and satellites involved?  I don’t actually buy that.  What I actually buy though, is that the thin air still dictates how well the ball travels in Colorado, to some degree anyway.  And acquiring Matt Holliday may very well help a team improve themselves in the short term, but I wouldn’t necessarily expect to be getting an MVP candidate either.  After all, scouts said Holliday may have trouble adjusting to the tougher competition in the AL if he were to switch leagues.  That is another reason to believe the humidors are not exactly what people may think they are. 

3 Comments

a great read- and it gives me pause- i’ve actually been hoping against hope that cashman would do something to improve our pathetic offense and holliday is just who i had in mind-

i can’t agree with your “sacrificing the future” comment. the yankees have a ton of young arms and it’s not like they all will ( or should) find their way to the bronx- some should absolutely be traded to get us help now. we have a collection of aging, under-performing hitters and there is so reason to suppose they will be any better next year- i want some young hitters in their prime-

congrats to your team in getting back to the top today.

Sacrificing the future doesn’t necessarily mean refraining from trading prospects. If an organization such as the Yankees have excess arms, or excess of any position, then making a deal isn’t as damaging. But the Hughes’ etc are the ones worth keeping. Of course Hughes is hurt right now, but you know what I mean.

I agree, Joe, and though I think the Yanks should strongly consider Holliday especially if Matsui is done for the year with his knee injury, the Yanks shouldn’t go overboard for him. To me, the starkest difference between his home and road numbers has been the homer totals, which have been half as many homers on the road as at home in his career. He’s hit .300 the last 1 1/2 years on the road, and who knows? Maybe Yankee Stadium’s short porch would serve him quite well. But there’s no question about the Coors Field effect. Would I be willing to trade a couple good prospects plus a major-leaguer for him? Definitely. Would I wish the Yanks would give up several players for him? No.
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