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Sunday Rockpile: Taking a peek at some early season team stats

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Some early season NL rankings for the Rockies:

Relief ERA: 5.73 12th (the Dodgers are at 3.13, Padres at 2.52, D-backs at 6.55, Braves at 7.75.)

Starter ERA: 4.42, 6th (Dodgers at 3.33, D-backs at 4.45, Giants at 5.55, the Phillies are at 7.71).

The Rockies, however are only averaging 5.3 innings per start (tied with the Giants at 13th in the NL) everybody else in the division is getting at least one more out from their starters. I don't know how sustainable the run prevention is, nothing seems too terribly out of whack, but so far other than that one or two additional outs per start, our starters have been giving us about as much as we should be able to expect from them.

For our relievers, I think the most damaging stat right now is their 0-3 record. Only Washington and St. Louis have done worse and nothing will turn a fan base off quicker than watching games they had hopes to win slip away late. Rockies relievers have tallied only four holds as a team, and have allowed eight inherited runners to score. The Rockies really haven't had many high leverage situations, but they've been pretty bad at it thus far.

Team BABIP allowed: .308

The Dodgers are allowing only a .196 batting average against thus far and just a .243 BABIP. Last season the league average was .300, and the best team at preventing hits off contact was the Cubs at .284. The best team BABIP against figure over the last five years in the NL is .280, achieved by the 2006 Padres and 2004 Cardinals. The upshot is that the Dodgers might be good, but right now, they're also very lucky. Their pitching will be drifting back toward the crowd as the season progresses.

Team BABIP (hitting): .264 (13th in NL)

Team ISO: .210 (first in the NL)

The Rockies on offense are showing some weird splits that can't continue over 162 games. The good news is that the batting average of the team is almost certain to rise considerably over the course of the season, the bad news is that the rate the Rockies hit for power is certain to drop substantially. The end result, however, will likely point to an offense that's considerably better than the one that we've seen the first ten games. The Rockies 12.1% HR/FB rate is tops in the NL right now, but between one and a half and two percentage points higher than the league leader typically winds up with at the end of the season.

SO rate: 23.8% (2nd in NL)

BB rate: 10.3% (8th in NL)

Of the seven teams that had higher than league average K rates in 2008, four had winning records and two, Milwaukee and Chicago, went to the playoffs. A high team K rate isn't necessarily as terrible a thing as some would have you believe, especially if it's accompanied by a decent number of walks and power. The Rockies have been displaying both so far. 23.8% on K's is a bit high, but not likely to continue throughout the year, high K teams will typically settle around 20%. The key for the Rockies will be to keep that walk rate over 10%. This isn't too say that Patrick Saunders is wrong in pointing out that the Rockies have to do a better job of protecting the plate with runners on, though.

What they don't want to wind up with is an offense like Arizona, that goes for extra base hits or nothing. Watching how the team takes pitches and uses the opposite field is important.

 

Alright, enough of that, how about some links:

Franklin Morales will start Tuesday, according to insidetherockies.com

Ringolsby also writes that Aaron Cook needs to find his sinker and soon if the Rockies hope to compete.

Troy Renck writes up the Padres and in a note says that the reason he seems to have missed on thinking that the Diamondbacks would win the division is Justin Upton. It's a start, but once he and everybody else that liked the Snakes this year acknowledges that they underrated Jason Marquis and overrated Jon Garland, then I think we'll be talking. The D-backs offense is a little more unlucky in the BABIP department than the Rockies so far, they'll be better before the season is out.