I'm having troubles figuring out how to respond properly to Marc Normandin's Beyond the Boxscore article concerning constructing a particular type of Coors lineup because there are several exceptions I take. One, is why I feel players like Vinny Castilla are underrated at our field and Marc tossed his name into a slew of players that are completely different. So I have come up with this profiling tool as a starting point. What I have done is simply gone through each regular player's home and away slugging and on-base percentages and determined the difference in each category, leaving them separate -as too often now with OPS being so hot, I think people keep them together too much, and for Coors, I think it's not always a wise idea to do that. So, anyway, having determined the differences, I've ascribed the following categories:
- Less than a .050 difference means the player has no alternative profile in that stat, and is therefore CRAP-less (signified by an XCO for on-base, or an XCS for slugging.) This is an okay thing for on-base percentages, as long as your OBP is high to begin with (like Todd Helton for instance) but you don't want to be CRAP-less in slugging as it indicates you really probably aren't playing full tilt at home. Charles Johnson was totally CRAP-less in both categories.
- Between a .050 and a .100 means the player has a moderate CRAP (MCO & MCS). Nothing wrong there, players should take advantage of Coors while they have it. Again, you'd like the numbers fairly high to begin with. Vinny Castilla registered as a MCO/MCS last year, and that MCS was particularly important as it meant he was slugging on the road as well as at home.
- Between a .100 and a .200 difference means the player is an Opportunistic CRAP type (OCO/OCS), they take a bit more advantage of Coors than most and you have to start being careful that these players are overrated as they tend to offer less support on the road, an OCO profile is a bit worse than an OCS profile as the thin air of Denver will make a lot of players fall into the latter category. Luis Gonzalez was both OCO/OCS last year.
- Greater than a .200 difference means you have a full CRAP, or are full of CRAP (FCO/FCS) if it suits you better. It's nearly impossible to be an FCO, but Jorge Piedra was disturbingly close in limited at bats. Both Matt Holliday and Jeromy Burnitz had full CRAPs in slugging, and given Holliday's performance yesterday was at home, it looks like he'll probably be an FCS again this year. I don't think this type helps us that much as they won't provide the support we need on the road.
XCO/XCS - Either bizarre flukes like Charles Johnson, or less effective slap hitters like Aaron Miles, either way, we shouldn't stick with these for very long. Over a year as a starter is too long.
MCO/XCS - Aaron Miles fell into this category barely last year, but he was borderline XCO/XCS, any XCS isn't utilizing the homepark effectively.
OCO/XCS - see above. this would have to be a strange mix of Juan Pierre and Tony Gwynn.
FCO/XCS - even moreso, a strict slap singles hitter who also walks plenty at home but strikes out a lot away and doubles some. This type would be so frustrating away from home, I think I'll pass.
XCO/MCS - I could see this being a prototypical Rockies top of the lineup player depending on how high the numbers were, it means they take advantage of Coors some but get on base at the same clip on the road.
MCO/MCS - the dropoff in on base is getting a little steep, but it will drive the costs down. Vinny castilla fell into this category.
OCO/MCS - Vinny was almost here, this will be a Dave Kingman, Rob Deer type of player who pitchers are afraid to go after at Coors, but attack on the road. It might be okay if that slugging's high as a cheap fill for a couple of run producing positions.
FCO/MCS - Moreso of the last category, anytime you have a Full CRAP type the ramifications away from home of the altered lineup are probably too great to justify using them as regulars and I would just bench them and use them only in pinch situations until you get back.
XCO/OCS - Royce Clayton fell into this category, but then again, so did Todd Helton last year. If the slugging is high enough, then there shouldn't be any problem with this type being in the middle of the lineup. If the OBP is high enough, they should be at the top, if the numbers are low like Clayton's, maybe they should be reserves or at the bottom of the lineup home or away.
OCO/OCS - Luis Gonzalez was this type of player, last year, and the differences meant he should start at home, sit on the road.
FCO/OCS - Too many of this type won't solve our road woes, so I think you have to trade these away quickly unless they're young enough to have room for improvement.
XCO/FCS - Jeromy Burnitz last year was close to this type, if the OBP is high, the home slugging will be a bonus. Again, in that case this could be a great Coors leadoff hitter, and I am kind of expecting Jeff Salazar to be pretty close to this type. Burnitz's OBP wasn't particularly high, and that made him a liability on the road.
MCO/FCS - Burnitz did fall into this category, and the drop-off in OBP here starts becoming problematic very fast.
OCO/FCS - Matt Holliday was the closest Rockie regular to having a completely full CRAP type, and given that he hasn't been much different this year, I wonder if we shouldn't just use him at home where he is amazing and then find somebody besides Dustan Mohr to replace him on the road.
FCO/FCS - I think this is what most other fans seem to think of all Rockies players, as completely full of CRAP which is unfortunate. Jorge Piedra was dreadfully close, but no Rockie qualified last year. This type like OCO/FCS might be a cheap role player, but obviously not a good regular. I'd love it if our pitchers hit like this.
Here's a rundown then, of the 2004 profiles for our players who had more than fifty games at home and away:
J Burnitz MCO/FCS
I'm sorry, but you just have to wonder if he put the same effort into his play away from Coors when he knew it would be a struggle. In a contract year it looks like he might have been trying to drive his value up. When there's such a huge drop in slugging by a key part in the middle of the lineup, it just has to affect how the offense is run drastically. The answer, to me, would be a different lineup, but Clint H. keeps his fairly steady.
V Castilla MCO/MCS
Vinny didn't let up on the road, he would swing for the fences either place and because he was so one dimensional on offense (he was borderline OCO)also meant he was relatively cheap and predictable. I don't want to fill our roster with Vinny's but I want at least a couple, we lose too many close games right now because we don't knock anybody in, hardly ever, when we leave Coors. Even a couple of those opportunities cashed in would be preferrable to none.
R Clayton XCO/OCS
Royce's OBP didn't move much when he left Coors, but his slugging went from poor to abysmal, I have a sinking feeling, though, that this year's profiles are worse.
L Gonzalez OCO/OCS
LuisGogo's drop in OBP on the road means more Aaron Miles, and Aaron Miles can't hit the ball nearly as hard, meaning we're screwed in the middle. If Luis could develop patience at the plate he would be such an everyday upgrade over Miles it's not even funny how many more games we'd win. This was more clear last year when he had a little more pop than he's showing now.
T Helton XCO/OCS
Last year Todd was as good as ever. The slight drop in OBP was fine as it left him still among the league leaders, and the drop in slugging still left him as the most reliable run producer for the Rockies on the road.
M Holliday OCO/FCS
Not a good type when it comes to winning away from Coors for the Rockies, his numbers were awful on both sides of the coin. Maybe he can be more Vinny like and just go for a homerun every time while away because clearly the approach he took last year, and the one he's taking this year while away from Coors isn't working.
C Johnson XCO/XCS
This type of player is so curious to me, how can you not do better at Coors Field than on the road? It's insane... or maybe...
A Miles MCO/XCS
...you're just really not that good to begin with and it doesn't matter where you play.