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Keeping Troy Tulowitzki, plus a note on home/road splits

Take another shot: It's my weekly "the Rockies aren't contending in 2015 but maybe that's OK" post!

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Why the Rockies will keep Troy Tulowitzki - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN
Our friend Richard Bergstrom (the proprietor of Rockies Zingers) runs through the reasons why the Rockies will end up hanging on to Troy Tulowitzki -- for now, at least -- rather than shipping him to the highest bidder this offseason. Colorado should expect to see an improvement simply based on BaseRuns luck, and that doesn't even factor in better fortune with health, which is something we all know it might not see based on recent history.

The way the offseason is playing out, it appears the Rockies believe either one or both of these things to be true:

1. Better luck, combined with further improvement from budding young stars Corey Dickerson and Nolan Arenado, will help things "even out," as Richard says.

2. They don't envision themselves as contenders entering 2015, and if that holds true throughout the first part of the year even with better luck, they'll still have a good chance to set themselves up for the future.

Maybe that last part is wishful thinking, but banking on a bounce-back year for Carlos Gonzalez and continued success from other tradeable assets such as Charlie Blackmon and Justin Morneau -- and heck, maybe even Tulowitzki, depending on how desperate some of the contending teams become -- is worth the risk for Colorado at this point, if that is indeed their plan.

Buster Olney ranks the top 12 surprise stats of the 2014 season - MLB - ESPN
One of Olney's surprise stats is the Rockies' difference in home and road offense. Yawn. He mentions Tulo as an example: Colorado's star shortstop managed an OPS of .811 on the road compared to 1.246 at home.

Among all players in baseball with 100 or more away plate appearances, Tulo ranked 49th in OPS (for what it's worth, Justin Morneau finished 38th). But among shortstops? Tulo was No. 2, behind only Starlin Castro (full disclosure: Hanley Ramirez was also higher on the list, but he won't be a shortstop in 2015).

I guess what I'm trying to say is the splits, in the case of Tulowitzki at least, are overblown. Here is a list of the 40 active players who have managed an OPS of .800 or better both at home and on the road since Tulo broke into the league in 2007 (minimum 500 road plate appearances) :

Adrian Beltre
Adrian Gonzalez
Albert Pujols
Alex Rodriguez
Andrew McCutchen
Bryce Harper
Carlos Beltran
Carlos Quentin
Chase Utley
Curtis Granderson
David Ortiz
David Wright
Edwin Encarnacion
Evan Longoria
Giancarlo Stanton
Hanley Ramirez
Hunter Pence
Jayson Werth
Joe Mauer
Joey Votto
Jose Bautista
Josh Hamilton
Justin Morneau
Mark Teixeira
Matt Holliday
Matt Kemp
Miguel Cabrera
Mike Morse
Mike Napoli
Mike Trout
Paul Goldschmidt
Prince Fielder
Robinson Cano
Ryan Braun
Ryan Howard
Ryan Zimmerman
Shin-Soo Choo
Troy Tulowitzki
Victor Martinez
Yasiel Puig

That list, minus a few great second-year players, is basically a who's who of Major League Baseball (albeit with a few past-their-prime guys sprinkled in). Combining that sort of company on offense with Tulowitzki's defense -- a skill unmatched by the overwhelming majority of the players on this list -- makes it pretty silly to question his current value.

As a side note, including inactive players, four players who have suited up for the Rockies at any point since 2007 are on the list: Holliday, Morneau and Tulowitzki, as you see above, as well as Brad Hawpe, who managed an .823 road OPS for his career.