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Tuesday Rockpile: Carlos Gonzalez - A Coors Creation?

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Given the offday yesterday, there isn't a lot of Rockies news.  There is an AP article on CarGo's break out this season, one of many you'll see showing up.  Of course, we know that Gonzalez first started breaking out in the second half of last season.  If you combine the second half of 2009 with the first half of 2010, you'll end up with a .305/.339/.539 line with 26 HR, 76 RBI, 23 SBs....and 34 walks.

That's not Matt Holliday numbers, but it is pretty solid for the first productive "year" in the majors.  I could complain about the walks, and maybe I should.  After all, he does swing at more pitches outside the strike zone than all but seven batters in the league.  But hey, there's an area for him to improve as he matures, right?

One thing I will point out.  It my perusal of the interwebz, the second most popular excuse for not voting for CarGo in the Five-Man Vote-Off (behind, you know, that Joey Votto guy) is that he is a "Coors creation."  Given his floundering performance in Oakland, he was doomed to have that label if he broke out here, but the nail in that coffin might be his home/road splits this year:

Split G GS PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Home 34 33 155 140 46 3 2 10 29 7 1 10 21 .329 .374 .593 .967
Away 37 36 164 158 42 6 2 4 23 5 4 5 50 .266 .287 .405 .692
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/6/2010.

That's a legitimate split there.  That's almost Albert Pujols at Coors and Jeff Keppinger on the road.  The strikeouts and walks show a completely different approach at Coors than on the road.  His entire game (except doubles) suffers away from hom.  It gets worse:  those numbers are with a .321 BABIP at Coors and .362 BABIP on the road.  Before you panic, his splits weren't as large last season, with a .943/.811 home/road OPS split.  But it is something worth watching.

Still, let's be clear.  CarGo is NOT a Coors Field Creation.  Even with park-adjusted numbers, he has near All-Star worthy numbers.  He is in the top 20 in WAR for NL outfielders.  Of the five vote-in candidates, Joey Votto leads with a 171 wRC+ and 4.0 WAR, followed by Ryan Zimmerman at 135 wRC+ and 3.2 WAR, followed by CarGo at 115 wRC+ and 1.4 WAR (It should be noted that UZR inexplicably proclaims CarGo a below average fielder).  Heath Bell also has 1.4 WAR, Billy Wagner comes in at 0.9 WAR and Omar Infante has a 92 wRC+/0.4 WAR.   He may not be a true All-Star, but CarGo belongs as a legitimate bat that will only get better.



Links:

Source: Twins Offer Mariners Two Prospects For Cliff Lee - SBNation.com
Follow the StoryStream to see the whirlwind surrounding Lee.  The two players are 2008 1st round OF Aaron Hicks and the Twins third prospect Wilson Ramos, whose problem with the Twins is his position at catcher.

Rockies good at responding to adversity - The Denver Post - We knew the Rockies strength was depth, and that has manifested through their success while the stars are injured.  Jim Armstrong looks at all the valuable role players.

Postseason ticket reservations introduced | MLB.com: News - It's a lottery system of sorts.  For a low fee, you can reserve the right to buy postseason tickets at face value, but if your team misses the playoffs, you lose your money.  Naturally, Fangraphs quickly calculated the break-even point for each team for each game.  For the Rockies, it ranges from $32 for the first home game in the NLDS to $2,125 for a fourth home game in the World Series.  (Might as well be a trillion, since that would require the NL actually winning the All-Star Game).

Paying for the right to pay: 2010 style - The Hardball Times examines how much teams are screwing their fans with processing and ordering fees on their tickets.  Essentially, the "Cheapforts" are not nearly as money-grubbing as some would have you believe.  Not only do the Rockies have the cheapest regularly priced ticket in MLB (Rockpile), but they rank at the lowest in fees about anyway you cut it.

Jaime Garcia: From Tragic to Magic? - Viva El Birdos - The Cardinals' SBNation site has a FanPost analyzing the pre- and post-Tommy John surgery deliveries of Jaime Garcia, tomorrow's starter for St. Louis.

San Diego Padres Fan Confidence Poll: 7/5/2010 - Gaslamp Ball - GSB's #2 and #3 reasons for losing confidence involve the looming Rockies.

Baseball Prospectus | Statistics | Custom Statistics Reports: Pitcher Abuse Points: -  After Roy Halladay's seventh complete game and Edwin Jackson's insane no-hitter, Ubaldo Jimenez now ranks third.