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Colorado Rockies Weekly Ratings: Week 2

A weekly look at how the Rockies performed as a team and an analysis of each individual player.

Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Don't look now, but the Rockies are perfect away from home, having gone 6-0 with sweeps of the Milwaukee Brewers and the San Francisco Giants. I can't believe I'm writing that. The Rockies are perfect away from home, including a sweep of the Giants at AT&T!

Now that the first wave of ratings are in, I'll explain quickly how I did it. For those players who received a majority of "N/A" votes, I disregarded any votes that rated those players. For example, two people gave ratings to Culberson, even though he's been on the DL. That's tough. For those players with a majority of votes giving them ratings, I averaged them and excluded "N/A" votes.

N.B. Please rate players based on games played between each article. For this week, please rate players based on games played from 4/9 to 4/15.

I'm going to just copy and paste the introduction from last week for those of you who might be seeing this for the first time or for those who want to reacquaint themselves with how the weekly series works, but otherwise feel free to skip the first part.

Series Overview

The "Team Performance" section will give a quick recap of the Rockies' week and provide a basic look at how the team did as a group.

In the second section, "Performances/Ratings," I'll be writing a short blurb summarizing each players' performance since the last post, which will appear in the "Comments" column. The "Performance" column will include an icon indicating a positive weekly performance, a negative one, a "meh" or "didn't play enough" week, or an injury. These are purely arbitrary, and I'm sure you'll disagree with at least a few of them. There's no rhyme or reason to which icons I give a player, and you'll probably find my evaluations inconsistent on a weekly basis. My hope, however, is that they provide a fun look at each player and provide points to kickstart discussion in the comments section.

The final two columns represent the community's opinion on each player's performance. At the very bottom of this post, you'll find a survey asking you to rate each player. Every Friday, I'll include the average rating each player received in the "Week (#) Rating." As we get further into the season, I'll include the prior week's ratings to show how players have been performing on a weekly basis. In other words, the "Week (#) Rating" column will represent the past week's ratings as indicated by the community. The "Prior Rating" column will include the ratings from the week before the rated week, or two weeks before each post. Finally, each quarter of the season I will post players' average rating as given by the community.

The "Studs" and "Flops" section will look at the entire league. While I will try to include three of each every week, there's no set number. I may select a player who stood out, a coaching decision, etc.

Big shoutout to Sage Farron's The absolute best sources of all information pertaining to the roster, I used his website for each player's position and level.

Finally, please participate in the form! I know it is long, but your input is an integral part of my weekly feature!

Team Performance (4-2)

Note that this isn't the Rockies' overall record, but how they've done since the last article. A sweep of the Giants at AT&T is so, so sweet. Stealing one game there is nice, two is rare, and three is almost unheard of. Our home series against the Chicago Cubs really should have been won, but the much-discussed LaTroy Hawkins blown save gave the Cubs the series win. Overall, this week featured really great performances by the team: a lot of gutsy performances from our pitchers, some clutch hitting, and encouraging signs from Walt Weiss and the FO that they're taking a much more forward-thinking approach.

The pitching staff was mostly solid, allowing 16 earned runs over the six games, with half of those coming in the Rockies 9-5 loss to the Cubs. In the 54 innings pitched since the last article I posted, the Rockies have combined for a team ERA of just 2.67 along with 44 strikeouts. Over the past week, that team ERA is good enough for fourth in the entire league. They've also let up the third-fewest hits and less home runs than half the league.

At the plate, they've hit .288/.329/.413, good enough for 5th, 12th, and 10th in the league respectively. They have benefited from the second-highest season BABIP of .353, however, which is something to keep an eye on. Another area that bears some watching is their BB/K rate, which is just .23. That's the third worst in the league over the season thus far. The league-leading Red Sox, for example, have a BB/K of .59. Overall, however, lots to be happy about.

Player Performances/Ratings

Name Position Level Comments Performance Week 1 Rating Prior Rating
Nick Hundley C MLB Hundley started four of the six games, going 4 for 15 at plate and finishing the week hitting .267/.313/.333. His week's wRC+ was just 70, but he's been solid defensively and the pitching staff has talked highly of his ability to manage the game. He also had a CS% of .250 for the week. Compare that to McKenry's below, and it looks pretty darn good. Given his performance in a vacuum, I'd probably give him a dash/hyphen, but given what our other options have looked like thus far, I have to give him a green arrow.
Michael McKenry C MLB McKenry got to play two games, and it wasn't pretty. He went 2 for 8 at the plate with three strike outs and zero walks. That's good enough, or rather bad enough, for a wRC+ of 23. Small sample size, I know, but as a backup your job is to come in for the starter and make his absence unfelt as much as reasonably possible. Offensive and Defensive Values are both in the negatives, per FanGraphs, which gives him a weekly WAR of -0.1. Both the Cubs and the Giants ran on him every chance they got. Lots of big leads, lots of hit and runs, lots of steals. By "lots of steals," by the way, I mean that in those two games opposing players swiped five bases. That's, like, way too many bases. It's clear opposing players/managers/base coaches don't respect McKenry's arm. That's going to be a problem, especially when the Rockies are playing speedier teams.
Wilin Rosario C/IF MLB The Baby Bull played in four games, but three of those appearances were as a pinch-hitter. His lone start was at first. Very underwhelming performance at the plate, going just 1 for 6. His one hit was a run-scoring double, so that's a nice little caveat. Diving a bit into the stats points out a problem, which is that Rosario is swinging at pitches outside of the zone and, naturally, isn't really making contact. His O-Swing% — I'm excluding Bergman here — is worse than only Rafael Ynoa's at 53.9%. Ynoa's, just in case you were wondering, is 60%. Interestingly, Rosario is really good at making contact within the zone. Z-Contact% of 100 with Z-Swing% of 75. I'm not really that knowledgable of these statistics, but I interpret these to mean he must just swing at pretty much anything that comes his way.

Name Position Level Comments Performance Week 1 Rating Prior Rating
Cristhian Adames SS/IF AAA The Isotopes have been hot this week, going 5-2 after being hammered by Reno. After a bit of a slow start to the season, Adames has gotten hot and finished 9 for 25 at the plate and has a season line of .333/.407/.375 with two doubles, three walks, four strikeouts, and four RBIs. With the exception of the one game in which he was a pinch-hitter, Adames has hit in the two-spot. Additionally, he contributed to three double plays, but was caught stealing twice and picked off once. Not a great week on the base paths, but as far as I can tell as he was fine in the field with zero errors and the aforementioned double plays. I don't get a chance to watch many minor league games, given where I live, so my icons are often purely going off of what I've heard/seen on Twitter/box score data, etc.
Nolan Arenado 3B MLB After starting 6 for 13, Nolan cooled off a bit and went just 5 for 21 this past week. Two of those hits were doubles and two were home runs, however, so while the average was down he still finished with a line of .238/.333/.619. He also collected three walks and five RBIs while striking out twice, which all translates to a very happy wRC+ of 133. Also consider that he was the unfortunate victim of a .176 BABIP. And then think about how pretty "The Catch" was, not to mention his fantastic defensive play on any ball hit in his general vicinity. For the season, he's accumulated a WAR of 0.5. Not too shabby from baseball's rising star. On my most recent look, my poll asking whether Nolan will win his third Gold Glove is at 275 for "Yes," and 0 for "No." Nice, might as well give it to him now.
Charlie Culberson 2B/Utility MLB Culberson has graduated from the 15-Day DL to the 60-Day DL.
Daniel Descalso IF MLB Thankfully, Descalso got just one start this past week in addition to three appearances as a pinch-hitter. He had an outstandingly bad week at the plate, going just 1 for 7 and striking out twice. That's good for a stellar line of .143/.143/.143. Look at the consistency! That's what happens when you fail to walk, fail to advance runners via a sac, etc.  All that combines for a wRC+ of -42. I don't really even know how to interpret that. Oh, 142% worse at creating runs than league average, that's right. He also joins the weekly negative WAR club with a -0.1. Aside from the lack of offensive output, Descalso also had two errors in his lone start. Yikes!
DJ LeMahieu 2B/IF MLB DJ is good, really good. Another great week at the plate, DJ went 13 for 22 and finished with a nice looking line of .591/.609/.682. Unusually high BABIP of .650 kinda goes along with that average, but he's making good contact so it's not like his performance is solely due to luck. LeMahieu picked up a bases-clearing triple, which helped him to five RBIs on the week. He had a rare error, but overall looked like his usual self in the field and finished the week with a team-best weekly WAR of 0.5. I don't know what he's doing differently at the plate, but getting this kind of production from a guy at the bottom of the lineup is crazy. Quite the season so far.
Justin Morneau 1B MLB Morneau picked it up at the plate, going 7 for 23 with a double, home run, and two RBIs. He's been good in the field as usual, and it's nice to see him rebound after a poor start in Milwaukee in which he went just 1 for 13.
Ben Paulsen 1B/3B AAA Paulsen showed his versatility this week, playing a variety of positions and pinch-hitting twice. He finished 6 for 20 at plate, hitting a double, whiffing seven times, walking twice, and going deep for a two-run home run in a pinch-hit appearance. His average now sits at .286 for the year. Paulsen's starts have come as the DH, left fielder, right fielder, and first baseman. It's nice to see him demonstrate the ability to play a number of positions early on, as the Rockies might need some depth if the guys with the club now can't cut it. Finally, he was picked off at first, hit by a pitch, and finished off two double plays while playing first base. I'll give him the up for his home run, which broke the Isotopes' tie with Reno in the seventh and gave them a lead they would not relinquish.
Troy Tulowitzki SS MLB Tulo went 6 for 21, drawing a walk and swatting three for doubles, finishing up with a wRC+ of 95. He did drive in three, but of concern are his seven strikeouts. He had a good week in the field, which helped him to a positive WAR despite his below-average performance at the plate. I like the doubles and the RBIs, but in the end his seven strikeouts earn him the dash/hyphen icon.
Rafael Ynoa 2B/SS MLB Ynoa had three appearances as a pinch-hitter, but no hits and he struck out once. He's now 0 for 4 on the year.

Name Position Level Comments Performance Week 1 Rating Prior Rating
Brandon Barnes CF/OF AAA Barnes hit at the top of the lineup for the Isotopes in six games and pinch-hit in the other. He went 6 for 21 with a pair each of walks and strike outs and also stole two bases, although he did get caught once. He recorded two solo shots and two doubles, finishing with three RBIs for the week. It was a good week for Barnes, who's hoping he can continue to hit decently to get called back up. He's got the glove, but just needs to add some consistency at the plate.
Charlie Blackmon LF/OF MLB It was a markedly better week at the plate for Chuck, who went 7 for 20 with two doubles, two RBIs, and four walks. He's still striking out a lot — five this week and eleven on the year — but it is encouraging to see those walk numbers up. A sac fly and a HBP helped him to a .350/.462/.450 line and a wRC+ of 147. He came across the plate four times, but he also had an error in the Rockies' 9-5 loss. He stole a base, but he was also picked off at first on a really nice move by Hendricks. FanGraphs still graded him positive defensively despite the error, and he finished with a weekly WAR of 0.3 thanks to a solid week with the bat.
Corey Dickerson LF/OF MLB It was another good week for Dickerson, who went 8 for 24 with a double, triple, and a walk. He also scored five runs and had four RBIs. He did strikeout six times, but overall he had a good week at plate.
Carlos Gonzalez LF/OF MLB It was an ugly week for CarGo, who went just 4 for 26 and struck out four times. He also twice grounded into double plays and finished the week with a wRC+ of -11. Bleh.
Rosell Herrera CF/IF A+ Herrera went 5 for 30 with a double, walk, and RBI. He struck out five times and was 1 for 3 in the stolen base department. Not a good week for Rosell, who is hitting just .214/.267/.357 this season.
Kyle Parker RF/DH AAA Parker went 6 for 28, but three of those hits came in a single game: excluding his three-hit game, Parker went just 3 for 22 at the plate. All told, Parker had three RBIs, a double, a stolen base and five walks to go along with seven strikeouts. He's hitting .219/.324/.344 in the hitter-friendly PCL, which is a bit disappointing. For a guy who is close to contributing at the MLB-level on a more regular basis, he's gotta find some consistency at the plate.
Drew Stubbs CF/RF MLB Three trips to the plate with nothing to show for them, Stubbs struck out twice.

Starting Pitchers
Name Position Level Comments Performance Week 1 Rating Prior Rating
Tyler Anderson SP/RP N/A N/A
Chad Bettis SP/RP AAA Bettis allowed five runs on five hits in his first start of the season, lasting just 4.2 innings. He struck out four, but walked two and threw 87 pitches before being pulled. Not a good start for a guy hoping to be considered for a spot with the Rockies if/when injuries occur.
Eddie Butler SP/RP MLB Butler turned in a gutsy performance for his first win of the year. He scattered five hits, a hit batter, and six walks around 5.1 innings, but didn't allow a run. Butler gave a lot of credit to Hundley after the game for helping him get through the tough spots. Definitely gets a green arrow for sticking in there, picking up the win, and blanking the Giants.
Tyler Chatwood SP/RP MLB 60-Day DL.
Jorge De La Rosa SP/RP MLB Slated to make his return Monday, it'll be nice to have JDLR back. He made a rehab start for the Isotopes, going five innings. He allowed two runs on five hits, but he struck out five and didn't issue a free pass. Both runs came off of a fifth inning home run. He looks ready to go, and I can't wait to see him back out there for the Rockies.
David Hale SP/RP MLB 15-Day DL
Kyle Kendrick SP/RP MLB It was a tough outing for Kendrick, especially considering how good his first start was. He gave up eight runs on as many hits, lasting just five innings. He hit a batter, walked five, and was victimized by three home runs. Tough day at the office.
Jordan Lyles SP/RP MLB Lyles allowed just a run over six innings on a day that the Rockies forgot how to play defense. He struck out three and walked three. Gotta go with the green arrow: Lyles did his part.
Tyler Matzek SP/RP MLB Matzek had two starts this week, pitching a total of ten innings and allowing a single run in each game. He walked four, struck out seven, allowed nine hits, and finishes the week with an ERA of 1.80 and a record of 1-0.
Chris Rusin SP/RP AAA Rusin pitched five innings in his first start of the season and got smacked around, allowing six runs on a whopping twelve hits.

Relief Pitchers
Name Position Level Comments Performance Week 1 Rating Prior Rating
John Axford RP MLB Axford is currently on leave and spending time with his family. Best wishes to the Axfords.
Christian Bergman RP/SP MLB Bergman tossed a scoreless inning in relief before going four innings in a spot start against the Giants. He whiffed four and walked two in that start, allowing no runs on four hits. It was a solid performance from Bergman, who should be a nice long-reliever/emergency starter going forth with the return of De La Rosa.
Rafael Betancourt RP MLB Betancourt allowed one run over four innings pitched in relief, and he picked up a save, walked one, and struck out four. He has looked surprisingly great so far since coming back from TJ surgery.
Rex Brothers RP AAA Rex... Come on. Like, figure it out man! In three innings of work, Rex allowed three runs on four hits and four walks. He needed a staggering 69 pitches to get through those three innings, throwing just 37 of those for strikes. His command has completely abandoned him. His fall from grace reminds me of Fernando Torres post-Liverpool. What the heck happened these past two years? Our closer of the future looks anything but so far. Poor, poor, poor.
Brooks Brown RP/SP MLB Brooks Brown allowed a single hit over 3.2 innings of work while walking one batter and whiffing two. He's yet to surrender a run, and he has looked very good so far.
Jairo Diaz RP/SP AAA Diaz gave up two runs over four innings of relief, but with both of those coming in his first two appearances, let's hope the latter two are a trend. He had four walks and three strikeouts to go along with three hits allowed: split week for Diaz.
Christian Friedrich RP/SP MLB Friedrich allowed no earned runs in four innings of work, although he did see three cross the plate, but two of those were inherited runners credited to Kyle Kendrick and the other run was unearned due to a Charlie Blackmon error. He struck out two that game, so I think he did his part. With the error and inheriting two runners on base, there was not much he could really do.
LaTroy Hawkins RP MLB Hawkins allowed three runs in just 1.2 innings of work and was credited with a blown save. The Rockies really should be 8-1, but that's baseball. Hawkins has been replaced by Ottavino in the role of closer, but he bounced back nicely with a hitless, six-pitch inning against the Giants.
Tommy Kahnle RP AAA One of the few Isotopes relievers who didn't get blown up, Kahnle allowed a run over four innings. He walked one batter but struck out seven. Solid.
Boone Logan RP MLB Logan had four strikeouts in four innings pitched, but gave up his first run of the year on a solo home run. It's been good looks so far from Logan, who gets a nice little green arrow.
Adam Ottavino RP/SP MLB Ottavino allowed just a hit over 4.1 innings and picked up two saves after taking the role of closer. He hit a batter, but other than that didn't issue a single free pass. He also whiffed nine. Nine! What a stud.
Jorge Rondon RP AAA Rondon picked up three Ks in 4.2 innings and didn't allow a hit.

So, I didn't really think about this until I got to Tyler Matzek in the poll, but I'm guessing a number of submissions rated players based on how they'd performed up to the time of your poll submission. There's really no way for me to tell who did this and who didn't, so the numbers are going to be skewed for this week. For future ratings, I'll include the dates the poll is for. This poll is for 4/9 to 4/15. Please rate players based on games played in this time frame only, not as a season aggregate or by games played after 4/15. Those games will be a part of next Friday's post.

Studs of the Week

Miguel Cabrera (DET) — 4 for 4 in an 8-5 victory at Cleveland with two home runs and a double. Knocked in four in what was a terrific day at the plate.

Nolan Arenado (COL) — Aside from a solid week in general, Nolan made a strong case for catch of the season. What a play.

George Springer (MIA) — Another phenomenal grab. Springer robbed Leonys Martin of what was going to be a walk off grand slam with a fantastic grab after a long run.

Flops of the Week

Clay Buchholz (BOS) — After a strong first start, Buchholz got torched in his second, surrendering seven runs — six earned — and lasting just 3.1. In all, he gave up nine earned runs — ten overall — on nine hits in what was a really gutless performance. You'd expect your number one to have some respect for himself and do his best to be competitive, even on an off day. Buchholz was a big baby, however, and stood around with his head down. Zero guts. Your teammates are running around out there and you just stand there like a petulant child? As a student in Boston I know a ton of Red Sox fans, and they're all pretty upset about what they saw from Buchholz. Gutless really is the only word. Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe called it "borderline disgraceful," saying "Eight years in the big leagues, unacceptable... What're the other guys going to think?" Everyone's going to get hit hard eventually, but it's one game out of a long season. The important thing is how you carry yourself and how you react.

Madison Bumgarner (SF) & Clayton Kershaw (LAD) — Bumgarner, for his part, allowed five runs in just three innings. That's definitely not something you see every day with him, or really ever. Kershaw gave up six runs, five of which were earned, in an outing that went 6.1 innings. Couldn't they save those off-days for the Rockies?

Ian Desmond (WAS) — Desmond continued his comedy of errors — see what I did there? — and finishes with six errors in nine games. Five of those six errors have lead to ten unearned runs. Yikes. As of this writing — Thursday at 5:00 p.m. — those six errors are more than or equal to the team-totals of twenty teams. Desmond told reporters "I don't know what to do. I'm doing everything I can... But, I mean, what am I gonna do?"


I didn't know what section to put this in, but it's funny. The good old hidden ball trick. Love how confused everyone is.

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