Sunday Rockpile: 17 wins hath April, but what come May?

Months that the Rockies have had eight or fewer losses since 2007:

  • Rocktember 2007: 20-8
  • June 2009: 21-7
  • April 2011: 17-8

I'm just saying...

Okay, so the Rockies may only have a 43% chance of winning the division now historically by being in first on May 1st, but that's still a bit better odds than the roughly one in four chance we had to start the season. Adding another winning month and more separation on the rest of the division will push the team's chances up dramatically.

Troy Renck calls out three players for not pulling their weight for the Rockies, Chris Iannetta, Dexter Fowler and Jose Lopez, but two of them probably don't deserve the criticism, and the third might actually be in the same boat as the slumping superstar Renck treats with kiddie-gloves instead, Carlos Gonzalez.


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - Chris Iannetta 19 55 9 10 3 1 3 10 16 22 1 0 .182 .384 .436


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - Todd Helton 22 70 9 21 6 0 3 10 6 8 0 0 .300 .359 .514

Renck wrote his article before last night, and my post therefore has the benefit of a cherry picked happy endpoint that his article did not, but Chris Iannetta now has as many RBI and runs scored as Todd Helton, and his on base percentage, .384 is just a smidgen behind Troy Tulowitzki's (.385, but that's also cherry picked as Tulo's slumping.) I'm not saying that Iannetta's a great hitter, I'm certainly not going to compare him to Joe Mauer, as a FanGraphs article did recently, but I will say that he's not the issue on this team right now, and average hawks need to lay off. Despite playing three fewer games and batting deeper in the lineup, Iannetta has gotten safely on base just as often as Helton this season (28 times each after you add their HBP's.) Iannetta's contributing precisely what we should expect him to for the team's cause this year: a high walk driven OBP, which flips the lineup for our leadoff hitters, those we should be counting on most for run production, and when he hits, he hits with authority .


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - Dexter Fowler 25 95 19 24 9 1 0 9 17 34 2 1 .253 .368 .368

Dexter Fowler, also has flaws and is probably more in need of a correction. For instance, cutting down on his National League lead in strikeouts would be a big necessary correction, but he also still has a .313 batting average away from Coors Field this year and a .433 OBP. Even as I write that, I know the first part of that sentence is by necessity at odds with the second. There is zero chance he'll maintain that road AVG if he also maintains that ghastly K rate. That said, he deserves a lot of credit for the Rockies start, as his stellar road trip through Pittsburgh and New York had as much to do with our seven victories there as anybody did. 

Jim Armstrong writes more about Fowler in his Rockies journal, and also says it's not time for a rally thong. Dang, why didn't somebody tell me this earlier today? Now I have to change again.


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - Jose Lopez 20 70 8 11 1 0 2 8 1 9 1 0 .157 .181 .257

And then there's my off season hero Jose Lopez. Definitely an issue, definitely needs some lucky underwear, as when an average and power oriented hitter that already doesn't walk doesn't have the average either, they become an out making liability to a team quickly. That said, last night again showed that Lopez's struggles aren't all his own. Bad luck with line drives put in play is playing as much a role in his early season struggles as bad hitting. The key will be to make the fine adjustments needed for the bad hitting without the bad luck causing him and Rockies coaches to overcompensate. A .438 OPS, however, is terrible and the clock should be ticking for Lopez to turn it around before being passed off to a non-contending team that can actually afford to wait. As with Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez, I think the cold temperature of most of our April games might be having a bigger impact on Lopez than it is on some other Rockies.

Mark Kiszla makes another dubious claim.

Jose Lopez did get on via small ball last night.

Daniel Moskos made his MLB debut for the Pirates last night, think of him as one of their Greg Reynolds (they have several.)

Phil Rogers - Rockies are build on strong foundation

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