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Saturday Rockpile: Rockies struggles part of league-wide power outage

Altitude, Coors Field, and three offensive All-Stars aren't enough for the Rockies to counteract the downward spiral of offense across all of baseball.

Charlie Culberson walks back to the dugout after striking out, something that is happening at a near-record pace across baseball this season.
Charlie Culberson walks back to the dugout after striking out, something that is happening at a near-record pace across baseball this season.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

The Colorado Rockies are having their worst offensive season in franchise history. As a team their on-base percentage and OPS are as low as they have ever been, with the team batting average and slugging percentage this year among the three worst in franchise history.

The Rockies' OPS as a club sits at .734, which would be the lowest it has ever been, surpassing the .739 mark in 2011 for that honor. The team's OBP is also below .320 for the first time in league history. However, when you take a look at those stats across the National League, you see that the league's OPS is just .705 - the lowest it has been since 1990. If pitchers across the league have a good couple months to end the season, the NL's collective OPS could drop below .700 for the first time in 30 years. The league's .314 OBP is the third lowest since the mound was lowered in 1969.

This means that the Rockies' wRC+, a batting statistic that adjusts for league and park, is currently 88, tied for 11th in franchise history. The Rockies' 11.0 WAR accumulated by their offense in 2013 is already better than in six full seasons, and on current pace should wind up in the middle of the pack in franchise history.

Looking at this from a pure run scoring angle, the NL league ERA this season is currently 3.75 with a FIP of 3.77. As recently as 2007 those numbers were 4.44 and 4.50, respectively. This is in part thanks to the fact that the last five seasons have been the five highest in history as far as strikeouts per nine innings are concerned, with 2013's 7.46 K/9 trailing only 2012's 7.69 number for the highest ever.

Could the Rockies be doing better offensively? Absolutely. But consider this, their team OPS is currently 29 points better than the NL's OPS as a whole; since the humidor was installed at Coors Field, the Rockies' OPS has been on average 28 points ahead of the league's. When you look at the league-wide perspective, maybe the whole "lack of offense" thing isn't totally the Rockies' fault.


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