Monday Rockpile: The Rockies Might Be The Worst Team In MLB

Bad pitching and bad defense lead to this situation.

Yesterday's loss dropped Colorado to 15-25, 12.5 games back in the division, and into a tie for last with San Diego. They just got swept at home by a team that is comfortably in the bottom echelon of the AL if not MLB. Through 40 games, Colorado is on pace to go 61-101. That would be the worst mark this franchise has ever posted.

The Twins and the Cubs might have a worse record and run differential, but Colorado might be the worst team in MLB. The case is neatly summarized by Lookout Landing's Matthew here before the last series, but the gist is that Colorado's pitching (29th) and fielding (29th) lead to an overall ranking of 30. The point is then driven home by the incomparable Jeff Sullivan (also here).

After this weekend, Colorado's pitching staff has a 5.07 ERA (29th) and a WHIP of 1.56 (30th). Their tERA, which is basically defense-adjusted FIP with batted ball mix (line drive %, etc.) added in, is worst in the league at 5.83. And the starters have been worse (5.31 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 6.51 tERA, all 29th or 30th in the league), plus the fact that they've thrown the least amount of innings in the NL (about 5.5 innings per start).

Okay, so the Twins starters are probably still worse. Their starting pitchers this year have an ERA of 6.67 (!!!), 5.43 overall. But it's pretty close. Add in terrible defense (-15.5 UZR, -23 DRS, 28th either way) and below average offense (93 wRC+, 89 OPS+) and you've got a good argument for being really terrible. The Rockies have won only 3 out of 8 games they've played this season, and the stats say they deserve the record they have.

Colorado's got a lot of talent offensively (seriously, this has the potential to be a great offense) and there's certainly reason to think that the pitching will get better (Jorge De La Rosa's return, Jeremy Guthrie's unfathomable badness to this point, young pitching getting used to Coors Field, etc.) -- so they might not end up with over 100 losses. Still, through 40 games this team has been one of the worst, if not the worst, in MLB. And that really sucks.

I'll still watch with regularity for the purpose of watching the development (or lack thereof) of younger players and because I love baseball, but I certainly won't blame you if you don't feel like subjecting yourself to this product on a daily basis.

Daniel Rathman of Baseball Prospectus think that the Rockies have hit rock bottom (like I've never heard that reference describing Colorado before). To that I say, we're only a quarter of the way into the season -- there's plenty more time for rock bottom to occur.

Off-Topic.

Los Links!

Jeremy Guthrie got lit up yesterday, as he has done in pretty much all of his Coors starts (0-2, 9.92 ERA). Meanwhile, Jason Hammel is 5-1 with a 3.12 ERA pitching in the AL East. Blergh.

Lefty fireballer Rex Brothers was sent down yesterday, purportedly to work on his mechanics and to purge him of the memories from the 2012 season thus far. He was replaced by Adam Ottavino.

Todd Helton hasn't hit his stride in key situations according to Patrick Saunders. His batted ball profile suggests that he'll improve from .219/.313/.404, and I think that he will.

Christian Friedrich was a better story before he got knocked around on Saturday, but Troy Renck's piece on his workout regimen this off-season is certainly encouraging.

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