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Rock mining week 3: Wilin Rosario and the 3-0 green light

A weekly statistical look at the Rockies.

Denis Poroy

Last night, in the second inning, Wilin Rosario was thrown three straight balls by pitcher Kyle Kendrick. With two outs and no one on base, the green light to swing was not a bad option given Rosario's ability to smack fastballs into the outfield seats. However, he grounded out on that pitch and it left me wondering how he, and other Rockies do when swinging on 3-0 counts.

For obvious reasons, swinging and making contact doesn't happen a lot in a season for the Rockies. As a team, the Rockies have only had eleven plate appearances with 3-0 counts this season that ended on the next pitch. Ten times the pitcher threw a fourth ball with the only other time being Rosario's groundout last night. The Rockies have had numerous other 3-0 counts that have gone on to be 3-1, but this is purely looking at what happens on pitch four.

Overall in 2013, the Rockies hit .692 on 3-0 counts (9 for 13) with two doubles and two home runs while also collecting 107 walks. Wilin made contact twice on 3-0 counts, one being a double and one being a single. In the last three years, Rosario has gone 5 for 7 with a double and three home runs when hitting a 3-0 offering. Interestingly enough, if Wilin doesn't get a hit on the 3-0 pitch, he doesn't get a hit, going 0-12 with 17 walks in all other times he reached a 3-0 count from 2011-2013.

What all this means, may have already been obvious to the majority of you. Wilin Rosario, a masher of fastballs, probably should be given the green light on 3-0 pitches, at least until the opposition figures it out and starts throwing junk. What should be worked on by the Rockies is getting Wilin to be more patient so he has more opportunties to hit a fastball.

The Good

While Justin Morneau has the same average over the last seven days (.333) as he has over the course of the season, he has turned on the power this last week. All three of his home runs and three of his five doubles have been hit in the past week, raising his slugging percentage from .389 to .567.

The Bad

I will never be a fan of pulling starting pitchers that are working on a shutout. I appreciated everyone's viewpoint in my article yesterday regarding Chatwood's early exit but, in my opinion, Walt Weiss did it again last night. He sent Jordan Lyles out to start the eighth, making me think he would allow the young guy to pitch for the shutout. After giving up a leadoff hit though, Lyles was pulled at 95 pitches due to feared pinch hitter Tony Gwynn coming up to the plate(sarcasm). Boone Logan then put himself in a jam and got out of it so Weiss's decision worked but I would have liked to see Lyles face at least one more batter before a decision was made. A manager can always be second guessed for changing pitchers too early or too late and each decision by Weiss on its own is ok, it just continues a trend that I don't like.

The Ugly

Bryce Harper was benched yesterday by his manager for lack of hustle on running out a ground ball. Why is this considered ugly on a Rockies blog? Because in the ESPN article it labels him as two-time All-Star Bryce Harper. I read this and was immediately angry, and here is why. Carlos Gonzalez, with three great seasons, one decent season, and two partial seasons has only been to the All-Star game twice. In those four full seasons, Cargo has hit more home runs and stolen more bases each year than Harper has in his best season. While Harper's 2012 rookie season was All-Star worthy, he should have been rewarded for that 2013, going his rookie year was silly. Based on last year, he should not be going this year, but hype will probably win out over substance. Sorry for the rant.