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Monday Rockpile: Drew Stubbs' future and why today could be a day to look forward to for years to come

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One of the few bright spots for the 2014 Rockies was Drew Stubbs, but that doesn't mean the club faces an easy decision going forward.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Juan Pablo Zubillaga over at Rockies Zingers goes in depth on Drew Stubbs and what we might expect from him going forward. He concludes that this was a solid pickup for the Rockies and that even though it might not be wise to expect quite the same level of production again in 2015 (High BABIP Alert!!!), Stubbs could at the very least be an interesting trading chip.

The Rockies however have a few problems here that leave them a little bit handcuffed despite Stubbs' solid play. First, Stubbs is a type of player that likely benefits from Coors Field more than most. His skill set, which includes "light tower power" but also an inability to handle certain off speed and breaking pitches makes him particularly tough to deal with at 20th and Blake thanks to the difficulty pitchers have throwing those types of offerings a mile high. (They just can't attack this guy the way they want at Coors)

At the same time though, it could also be argued that he loses most of that advantage in the Coors Hangover Effect on the road. For instance, this season Stubbs posted just a .616 road OPS despite a very high .354 BABIP. (A 39 percent strikeout rate away from home will do that) Regardless of what you believe on the subject, Stubbs' splits are even more enormous than we would usually expect to see from a Rockie, and he's at least part of the reason for the stunningly large gap in home and road offensive production seen in the 2014 version of this team.

Another issue the Rockies have is Stubbs being arbitration eligible for next season (he'l be a free agent after 2015). Any way you slice it, he's going to get a raise from the $4.1 million he made in 2014. What concerns me here is the Rockies might end up paying for his high BABIP in 2014 and not get it again next season. He's still going to be a cheaper option than let's say Dexter Fowler would have been (Fowler is a slightly better all around player despite Stubbs being better in certain departments), but any increase in pay here makes it that much more difficult for the Rockies to acquire the pitching help they need going forward. If the Rockies were looking at 2016 as their year for the window to truly open, then moving Stubbs would be the obvious decision here, but so far the indications from their camp seem to be that they believe they can win as soon as next season. (You don't have to agree with this philosophy, but it's important to understand when evaluating their moves this winter)

The other predicament the Rockies have with Stubbs is despite his shortcomings at the plate when it comes to strikeouts, they would be in deep trouble without him in center field as their realistic depth there would essentially be Charlie Blackmon with a touch of Brandon Barnes (assuming Carlos Gonzalez can't play center field now after all his knee issues).

Stubbs is not an ideal option to have in center field, but he's also far from the worst guy out there. A mixture of him and Charlie Blackmon is about as good as it's going to get for this club right now. The David Dahl era is coming, but not in 2015.

Several members of our community have made posts explaining why they're Rockies fans. There's some excellent stuff in here if you haven't been following and it's a good time to reflect between the end of the regular season and the real start of the off season (after the World Series). I have not been able to comment on them much but I have read every single word of them and appreciate every member - new and old - who decided to take the plunge.

MLB Post Season schedule thoughts

Today could have been .... No, today should have been one of the best baseball days of the year with at least three, and possibly four LDS games on the menu; but thanks to a pair of sweeps in the American League (more  on that in a moment), we're already down to just two series and much of the air has been let out of the balloon.

I bring this up though because in future seasons, this is likely going to be a big, big day for baseball. Not only because it's unlikely that you get two sweeps in whatever league is playing a day ahead of the other leading to at least three games on this Monday, but also because starting next year we're about to enter a nice run where this Monday will start falling on Columbus Day most years which most people have off.

Did you wonder when the 2015 schedule came out why MLB is starting next season on April 6th while allowing the World Series to potentially stretch into November instead of starting it on March 30th and wrapping things up before Halloween? This day and the potential it brings is the reason. An April 6th start drags the potential quadruple header of LDS Game 3's and 4's into the holiday. Looking forward at how the calendar breaks, this day should fall on Columbus Day for all but two years from 2015 through 2023. The only exceptions being 2019 and 2020 (Technically MLB could have the same schedule in 2020 as they do in 2015 as the dates are the same but running the World Series into November that year would mean Game 6 conflicting with Election night which I'm guessing they are going to avoid.)

* * * * *

As far as the actual post season games go, I have mixed emotions. On one hand, the first 11 match ups were thrilling. Before the Angels and Royals played last night, eight of the first 11 post season games were decided by one run, and two of three that weren't were the extra innings Game 2 affair between the Royals and Angels and the 12-3 bashing Baltimore put on Detroit in Game 1 that was a tight 4-3 game going into the bottom of the eighth inning. In other words, the only real snooze fest to that point was the Wild Card game between the Giants and Pirates.

On the other hand, two sweeps with a third pending later today really pulls the rug out from under some of this momentum. It's possible that we could have just one playoff game combined Tuesday through Thursday of this week.

Speaking of those sweeps, would you ever have believed anyone who told you mid season that the Angels, A's, AND Tigers would all go winless in the postseason? These three clubs outscored their opponents by a combined 352 runs in 2014, and they have nothing to show for it. The A's traded away the top layer of their farm system to acquire the pitching depth needed for a series they never played in, the Angels are now an ugly 10-23 in the playoffs since winning the World Series in 2002 (including three first round sweeps in 2004, 2007, and now 2014), and the Tigers are running out of chances with this core that's ageing and getting more expensive every minute.

The American League is an utter mess right now, and that's not a bad thing big picture wise. Long suffering fan bases in Baltimore and Kansas City are finally having their day and it sets up what should be a fascinating off season on that half of the board as the big dogs try to regain a foothold in what for so many years was the more stagnant league.