Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez prepares for return to greatness - The Denver Post
Troy Renck has a solid piece on Carlos Gonzalez, who admits that he "wasn't ready" for the start of the 2011 season, which is what contributed to his awful start to the season. Gonzalez, like most of his teammates, is a typical slow starter (.817 career first half OPS as opposed to .932 in the second half), but 2011 was especially heinous - though he did pick it up pretty quickly after an April that saw him hit .228/.277/.304. Carlos changed his approach a little bit - seemingly for the better, as he drew eight more walks in almost 100 less plate appearances - and that may have prevented him from going into a deeper tailspin than he did (which, to say, ended up not being much of one at all despite having weaker stats across the board). In case you missed it, check out Jeff Aberle's player review of Gonzalez for a more in-depth look at his 2011 campaign.
It's interesting that there were some weight and distraction issues, though the latter was almost understandable due to the monster 2010 and ensuing contract extension. But, it seems like we've heard these stories about several different players multiple times over the last couple of seasons. This, above most things, is what the Rockies' front office and coaching staff should be working on correcting this offseason. And, after the failures of the 2011 team that included this, the seemingly poor preparation from Ubaldo Jimenez, and Dexter Fowler's conditioning problems prior to this offseason (just to name a few), it seems like that has been the case. However, right now we can only use resources such as these articles and Dan O'Dowd speaking candidly about players putting baseball first as a means of judging the organization's progress in this area. Let's hope we see it where it matters - on the field.
A couple of links after the jump...
How Much Do Park Factors Affect Team Success? - Beyond the Box Score
Bill Petti has an interesting piece over at BtB, as he takes a preliminary look into the effects of Park Factors across the big leagues. It's a good read, and could be used to expand on the idea - such as taking the Rockies' team-specific issues with home and road differences and turning it into a +\- wins figure.