The Rise of the LiRPAs - Sports on Earth
The Rockies need a LiRPA, or Late-inning Relief Pitcher Assassin. The bullpen’s trusty hit man for when the game is on the line.
In 2015, the Rockies did very little assassinating in the late innings, and often rather shoved the breath of life back down the throats of their opponents mere inches away from victory. A LiRPA is designed for use in a game’s highest leverage moment as opposed to a designated seventh or eighth inning. Last season, John Axford was the Rockies’ best reliever by average Leverage Index at the start of each inning (inLI) at 1.88, and second best of qualified relievers for Run Expectancy based on 24 base-out states (RE24). Alas, the days of LiRPAx are done.
Adam Ottavino possesses serious LiRPA potential, but may be the club’s choice to assume a more traditional closing role once healthy and back on the mound. Jason Motte from 2010-2012 posted above average to great LiRPA figures for the Cardinals, though he has since regressed considerably. Justin Miller showed flashes of greatness for the Rockies last season. If he can keep walks to a minimum, his high strikeout numbers may make him the best fit for the job out of the Rockies' bullpen.
Jeff Long’s article takes a look at the mighty bullpens of the AL East and how lights-out duos like Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, Craig Kimbrel and Carson Smith and Darren O’Day and Zach Britton may spark a new trend in modern bullpen construction.
Jose, CarGo enticing to holiday shoppers - MLB.com
With the offseason market yet to hit its peak, the number of impact free agents still unsigned is set to make for an eventful beginning to 2016. Scott Kazmir, Yovanni Gallardo, Wei-Yin Chen and Mike Leake headline the starting pitching crop. While Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton and Alex Gordon project to land sizable contracts among position players.
The trade market by no means has been broken wide open either. Rumors continue to swirl around Jose Fernandez and the Marlins, who appear to be asking the moon for the young ace. Several teams have taken interest in the Rockies’ crop of outfielders, with Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson available on the cheaper end. The Rockies front office has reportedly been taking calls all offseason from clubs including the Cubs and Nationals, seeking a deal to fill outfield needs and add left-hand power. This could very well include Carlos Gonzalez spending the new year somewhere other than Colorado.
Colorado Rockies Starting Rotation for 2016: Part 1 - Innings Eaters
If by "Part 1" we’re talking worst case scenario, here is a projected starting rotation for the 2016 Rockies. It ain’t pretty, folks. The projection, produced by RotoChamp, apparently does not account for the return of Jordan Lyles, Tyler Chatwood or really any will to win baseball games. As it stands, this appears to be two -- maybe three -- starter types and a handful of long relievers. In other words, this looks like a late-August starting rotation.