General observations over the year.
a. OBP from leadoff. This year has been really bad. Lineup needs table setters with good OBP guys in 1 and 2 slots with good speed. This year it did not happen.
b. Too many Ks. This lineup has struck out way too much this year. There needs to be plate discipline and an aproach beyond swing at everything. Too often these guys are behind in counts and having to hit pitcher counts is a recipe for failure.
c. Too much pull hitting focus. The Rocks have been way too focused on driving balls and pulling balls this year. So few actually have a solid approach. It is time to get back to basics. Opposite field hits are hits too.
d. Get more men on base. More walk, more baserunners = more runs. Run production plummeted this year. When you have fewer chances you score fewer runs.
a. Pitching. The bottom end of the rotation has lacked depth for several years now. They need to focus the attantion on getting some production there via some quality arms and stop the retreads.
b. Strikes. Too many walks this year and too many deep counts. Need to focus on getting ahead early next year. Opponents offense capabilities rapidily diminish when behind in the count.
c. Bullpen. Need to get a couple of lefty arms down there and do more switch offs late in the game. The Rocks used to do this regularly but went away from it this year for whatever reason.
a. Too much love for some minor league prospects can lead to a paralyzed approach. You build your system for two reasons. 1. To replenish at the MLB level and 2. To create trade bait to fill your existing gaps. The wisdom and foresight needs to be there to evaluate properly the stars from the journeymen from the hangers on. This needs to be made at the AA and AAA level (I myself was a casualty of this). There are several positions of depth in the organization, corner OF, 2B, 3B, 1B and the depth must be used to fill pitching gaps. Koshansky, Nix, Q, Smith, all these guys need to be showcased over the next two weeks to drive market value to others.
b. An alarming recent activity. It appears that the players have tuned out management post Renck article. Their approaches have been horrendous in the last week and it appears they have nearly quit. They need to look long and hard at their culture and perhaps enject a hard nosed skipper into the equation.
c. Use the recipe that works. They Rockies have had success in past. The keys were speed at the top, solid bullpens, productive bats in the middle and solid defense. This needs to be the focus moving forward. Who fits there is up to management. Don't be afraid to chase ingredients (and the prerequisite $$) at the expense of minor league prospects.
d. Insert team first. Too many tried to do too much and as a result everybody failed. Team approaches need to come first. Do not look for the homer at all times when behind, string together hits, and always focus on picking up each other. This was lost in 2008. It needs to be re-focused moving forward. Hit behind runners, hit and run, take the extra base, make the play, etc.
e. Avoid risk aversion attitudes. Those that stay there tend to never see the ceiling.