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Really interesting stuff. Great read.
Questions: How does luck actually play into your luck index season by season? Is there some long-term correlation for the Luck Index for each franchise across several seasons? Are "Lucky" teams prone to regress into "unlucky" territory the next season, or is it truly random? Do some teams "make their own luck" as the saying goes?
Interesting article! I love a good cliff-hanger.
The Cubs lineup is built precisely like a Championship-caliber Strat-o-Matic team.
Perhaps the Nationals will extend a contract offer to the now-grizzled veteran <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=932">Aaron Harang</a></span>.
Where does one find published stats on <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=TRAA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('TRAA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">TRAA</span></a>, both for aggregate teams and individual pitchers?
I would think that De La Rosa's track record for excelling at Coors Field, combined with the Rockies hot start, would push him up into the "Consider" category
Cuddy's contract is estimated at $21mil for 2 years? Given the qualifying offer was 1 year at $15mil, the second year is a relatively humble $6mil, by MLB standards. "A bird in the hand", I guess, for Cuddy.
When you look at it that way, the second year may be a bargain for the Mets.
Worth noting that Wacha wouldn't have been in the game if Panda hadn't defelected that grounder to Crawford for an out in the top of the 9th. That very unlikely play prevented the go-ahead run from scoring, and possibly a big inning. And it kept Rosenthal from coming in for the 9th in a save situation.
That's not to say that Rosenthal couldn't have done what Wacha did in the bottom of the frame.
Coming through the minors, Arenado's bat was his primary plus tool. Defense was characterized as adequate, such that he could stick at 3B, but not the strength that showed up last season with the Rockies.
And believe me, watching him ranging, pickimg wicked one-hoppers and delivering strong, accurate throws all season, his 2013 defensive props were well-deserved.
The Rockies management was uniformly excoriated for trying the 4-man rotation and tandem starter approach. The staff was in shambles, the team was in last place going nowhere in June when the Rox announced this experiment. Paper, local TV, ESPN, and MLB Network pundits all declared it insanity.
What was true insanity was continuing doing what they were doing and expecting better results. Finally management caved to the pressure.
I gave them props for trying something, ANYTHING, so as to try to learn how to cope with the unique aspects of pitching in Coors Field.
I still think it would work, particularly for a mid-market, cost-constrained team like Colorado, especially if they committed to it down through the minors.
To extend the replay discussion on the Rockies-Padres Wildcard tie-breaker game, obody seems to remember that Garret Atkins hit a homer in the middle innings that hit a seat and bounced back into play. The umpires ruled it a double and Atkins never scored.
The replay clearly showed it was a homer, so even the current limited replay rule would have overturned it. Had the game played out the same from that point, Tim McClelland's shrug of a safe call on Holliday's fateful slide in the 13th would never have happened, as the Rockies should have won it without the extra innings drama.
The Rockies tried the tandem starter plan midway through last season and got uniformly savaged in the papers and across MLB national outlets for doing so. They finally gave up when the young arms who envisioned themselves as Starters, groused and pouted too much about the process.
I give the Rockies credit for evaluating a unique solution to the strain from pitching at Coors Field, in what was certainly a lost season.
As for the Astros, exposing young pitchers to the tandem starter plan in the minors seems to be wise, based on the Rockies experience. That way, if Houston ever did want to implement it on the big club, the pitchers would know what to expect.
One other tandem pitching advantage that did not get a lot of mention is L-R pairings in tandem starters, to neutralize any opposition batters with significant platoon splits.
Are players, managers more cognizant of the injury risk of stolen bases? We certainly got a gruesome reminder of that with Jose Reyes.
You know the The Red Sox are in trouble immeditely when they turn to three pitchers even the Rockies rejected...Morales, Cook, Mortensen.
Mark McGuire hit the facade of the Rockpile in the Homerun Hitting Contest before the All Star Game in Denver in 1998, advertised as a 505 ft. shot. That's right behind Stanton's mammoth homer. But that's easily the longest homer I have seen in 17 season of projectile-watching at Coors Field.
"I appreciate him being a gamer and trying to be on the field every day after missing all that time with the broken wrist, but he can barely move on that bad right ankle. There's a fine line between being a gamer and hurting your team, and I think he's on the verge of crossing it."
On Jayson Werth:
How can he be hurting his team when he as batted .410/.510/.550 in the month of august. I know he is out right now Day to day with his ankel issue but a 500 on base is awsome. Just Saying......
Or all the Giant wins from 1993-2007 when Barry Bonds was on the roster.
Ryan Braun's Special attack is classic. As someone who played D&D in my misspent youth, it brings back memories. Well done!
If, If, If...I suppose Valentine doesn't appreciate a bunch of dead presidents with big heads racing around the warning track on Segways, either!
Rockies made the playoffs in 2009, and very nearly bumped off the Phillies, having blown 9th inning leads in both game 3 and game 4.
I would like to see Jim Tracy back as the Rockies manager in 2012...NOT!
I believe Aaron Cook had TOS surgery. It took him 1 year to come back full strength after the surgery.
I believe my Babel Fish just committed suicide.
Larry, you are one hoopy frood, and you certainly know where your towel is.
Fascinating article, hopefully settling the arguements regarding effects of the Humidor at Coors Field.
Last September, The Giants lodged a formal protest to MLB against the Rockies, asserting that Colorado was feeding non-humidor balls to the opposition pitchers. The Rockies vehemently denied the allegations by Bochy and Lincecum, but MLB responded by adding rules for the umpires to closely control the baseballs from the humidor to the mound.
At the time, it brought up debate as to whether ALL ML teams should employ a Humidor, so that baseball are conditioned consistently across the Majors. I strongly favor this approach as a rational response, and this article supports that position.
As a Rockies fan, it would be delicious irony, should instigator Lincecum's gaudy ERA take a major hit when he ceases to have the advantage of throwing baseballs the equivalent of wet dish rags in half his starts.
So, does that cast the Rockies in the role of "hapless foil", or "cheap bastard"...or both? That better be a VERY good lunch.
The Rockies got DLRosa off the virtual scrap heap, then got him in a good place mentally. He always had good stuff, but tended to melt down on the mound when things did not go his way.
As a Rockies fan, I've seen DLR pitch a bunch, and often times, he still needs to be reminded in-game to focus on doing his job and not blowing his stack. One hopes that this is a lesson he's learned now. But it will be interesting to see how he handles the pressure of a high-dollar, multi-year deal, especially if it's to a big-market team.
I think he has a decent chance to go all Javier Vazquez on a team like the Yankees.
The Dodgers signed Ted Lilly already. DLRosa's agent will be using that deal to value his client's contract, since he's several years younger and has had similar performance in the past two years.
Is Chris Tillman still in the mix as a promising front-line starter for the O's? Or has his prospect status taken a hit, as he's struggled to establish himself at the major league level?
Chris Coste is another current example. AAA 4-corners player, good bat, picked up catching as a 30-year-old. He finally broke through with the Phillies in 2006, at the tender age of 33.
He always had great Strat-o-Matic cards, killed leftys!
As for the Rockies 15-17 record on 1-run games, it's important to note they started the season 0-8 in such contests. Their first 1 run victory came on May 10th.
They were due some luck in that category, and have regressed to the mean during this 3 month run.
This issue has been discussed regarding the Rockies for quite some time. It would be most interesting to see some statistics on whether there is some sort of Coors Field hang-over effect when they leave the altitude for the flatlands. Does the offense get affeted similarly in the first game on a road trip as it does in the 6th?
Anecdotally, the Rockies seem to click right back into their offensive powerhouse mode when returning to Coors field, but I have not seen any data to back that up either.
Jay, the Rockies fans (fan?) from middle-America baseball wastelands appreciate an occasional diversion from the frenzied East-coast, media-driven, baseball over-coverage.
Looking forward to ROCTOBER 2009!
You mentioned Cone and Rogers, but is there a parallel to be drawn between Aaron Cook\'s successful return from surgery to correct circulation problems and blood clots and Bonderman\'s condition?
Aguayo\'s \'87 card rocked! 1-5 Homer, 1-6 HR/DO, 1-7 D0, etc. One of the greatest one-off cards ever!
Never made it to Opening Day, but always wait impatiently for the UPS truck that inevitably follows. I visited Glen Head once, and can vouch for the humble offices of SOM\'s World Headquarters.
I-75 Mail League
Rolling out our 30th season this year!
Any thoughts about overly right-handed lineups? I recall the \'93 Rockies rolling out lineups with 8 RHB vs. RH pitchers in their (miserable) inaugural season. Lou Pinella and the Cubs tried to rationalize their post-season disappointments the last two years on being \"too right-handed\", and signed switchy Milton Bradley to take the spot of lefty Fukedome.
Considering that 3/4 of the starters and innings are delivered by RH pitchers, having an overly right-handed lineup might be more of a detriment than an overly left-handed one.
Maybe Pinella is onto something?
Can we add fellow Blue Jay hurler Casey Janssen to the list? Any news on him?
Can you comment on Jason Hirsh\'s spring training injury and how it was handled, effectively making 2008 a lost season for him? Is there something else going on, a cascade injury? Is there reason to discount his future as mid-rotation starter?