Saturday Rockpile: Jeremy Guthrie's Pitch Values, Not Todd Helton's Replacement

April 16, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies pitcher Jeremy Guthrie (15) reacts during the sixth inning against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

Keeping it short today, as I'm writing this while trying to conduct a yard sale (for which I've had about three customers in two hours)...

Jeremy Guthrie says he's close to solving pitching problems - The Denver Post
Guthrie testifies that his problems this season have come as a result of not getting ahead of enough batters. His first-pitch strike percentage is only about 1% lower this year than his career average, and he's actually had a worse season than this year in that regard. The real problem with Guthrie, it seems, is that his pitches are just not effective; all of his pitches are in the negative range of value (per Fangraphs), and his fastball, which is valued at -16.9, is the least valuable pitch in the league.

Could Jared Clark be Todd Helton's eventual replacement at first base? - The Denver Post
One very key part of this equation that Irv Moss didn't bother to mention is that Jared Clark is 26 years old and still in High-A. On top of that, despite the fact that he has hit 12 homers and has 25 extra base hits in all, Clark's OBP sits at just .335, and he has struck out 60 times. Jeff Bridich may be right in saying that it's too early to say whether or not Clark can be the heir apparent to the Toddfather, but I'm pretty confident that the odds are stacked very much against him.

Oh, and Jeff Francis officially returns to the Rockies today. If he can strike out the first four batters like he did in Game 1 of the 2007 NLDS, I'll be satisfied. No pressure or anything, Jeffy Franchise.

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