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On The Rocks. (But only because it was obvious.)

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Purple Row.

The Rockies could best be described as a good offensive team in a state of "Why the hell did we extend this manager?" Let's just say that while not the worst possible combination (this award would go to a Bill Bavasi-Dusty Baker team), I don't know that Dan O'Dowd and Clint Hurdle are the guys to turn this team into a playoff contender/winner. They did have the sense to rid themselves of Steve Finley, however.

You might recall that there was a dubious flirtation with one Todd Helton as a possible acquisition before the season started. You'd have to say that it worked out for all parties. Helton has hit well in Colorado, while neither player he would have replaced in the lineup (namely, Youkilis or Lowell) have given the Sox reason to question the non-trade.

Offense.

  • 1B: Todd Helton. 147 OPS+
    Helton has been every bit as good as Dan O'Dowd attempted to convince Theo he was, especially by getting above a .500 SLG again. Helton vs. Wakefield: 0/1; Helton vs. Schilling: 18/52, 4 BB, 6 2B, 5 HR; Helton vs. Beckett: 3/10, 3 BB, 2B, HR.
  • 2B: Kaz Matsui. 115 OPS+
    In a surprise to Mets' fans everywhere, Matsui has been a valuable asset to the Rockies this season. Matsui vs. Beckett: 2/8, 3 K.
  • SS: Troy Tulowitzki. 86 OPS+
    The rookie has struggled to find his place at the plate this season, though he did turn a nifty defensive trick earlier this season...
  • 3B: Garrett Atkins. 77 OPS+
    Atkins hasn't been doing a whole lot of hitting thusfar, and may not hold off Ian Stewart for long. Atkins vs. Beckett: 3/7, BB, HBP.
  • LF: Matt Holliday. 150 OPS+
    Ladies and gentlemen, commence the pointless drooling. We can't have him. His home/road splits over the last two seasons aren't even too ridiculous. Holliday vs. Beckett: 4/11, 3B, 2 K, HBP.
  • CF: Willy Taveras. 94 OPS+
    Statistically speaking, one of the better CFs in baseball last season on defense. On offense. Well. At least this season he has the BA to drive that OBP into the "kind of acceptable for a leadoff hitter" range. Oh yeah. Speed. Taveras vs. Beckett: 1/2, K.
  • RF: Brad Hawpe. 133 OPS+
    If I were previewing the Red Sox 5-6 years ago, I might've been able to title this entry "Trot Nixon" and no one would've known the difference. Hawpe has serious platoon splits and an excellent arm in the outfield. Hawpe vs. Beckett: 1/6, 2 K.
  • C: Yorvit Torrealba.-Chris Iannetta. 54 OPS+;67 OPS+
    ...let's just put it this way. The Rockies' backstops would probably be batting #1/#2 in the Sox lineup. Torrealba vs. Schilling: 5/10, 2 2B; Torrealba vs. Beckett: 3/7.
  • Bench: Jamey Carroll-Jeff Baker-Ryan Spilborghs-Sean Barker
    Carroll has "hit" to the tune of a whopping 36 OPS+...Baker backs up all 4 corners and may see DH time...Spilborghs has mashed in a large (40 AB) sample size...Barker's only PA thusfar ended in a HBP...
Starters.
  • Game 1: Aaron Cook.
    Cook has been a LAIM-er for the Rocks this season, putting up a 99 ERA+ while averaging almost 6 2/3 IP per start. LHHs have put up an .831 OPS against him in his career. Don't be surprised if Hinske or Cora are worked into the lineup. His WHIP is actually a bit below last season, and his BABIP is a fairly normal .280. Drew: 4/8, 2B, 3B, HR, BB. Lowell: 2/3, BB. Tek: 2 PAs, 2 BB. Of course, this will be a Belli' game.
  • Game 2: Josh Fogg.
    ...has been pretty bad this season. A 1.619 WHIP has led to a 1-5 record and a 5.06 ERA. Someone should have sold high on him a long time ago, but there was no "high" in which to do so. Fogg is also disproportionately susceptible to LHHs (.881 OPS). Cora: 5/9, 2B, HR, BB. Drew: 4/18, 2B, 2 HR, 4 BB. WMP:, 2/3, 2 2B, BB.
  • Game 3: Jeff Francis.
    ...is the best homegrown Rockies starter since...anyway. Francis is pretty good at keeping the ball in the park (18 HRs in 199 IP last season), especially considering where he pitches half of his games. Francis is obviously pretty tough on LHHs, holding them to a .695 OPS. Hold your surprise if Drew or Papi sit this one out. Drew: 3/7. Crisp: 1/4, 2B.
Okay. Not really sure how this series is going to go. Just based on the numbers (and Rockies' players EXTREME unfamiliarity with Tim Wakefield), I would guess we win Game 1 and 2. 3 could be an excellent pitchers' duel, though several Rockies have good numbers against Josh Beckett. A sweep is possible, but I don't think the Rockies' hitters will make it easy on us.