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Colorado Rockies baseball isn't always fun, but anagrams are!

Ranking each Colorado Rockies player by solely their name and the quality of anagram that can be made from said name. Your favorite players do poorly.

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Editor's note: Leading up to Purple Row's 10th birthday, several of the site's former writers have agreed to make a brief comeback. We hope you'll enjoy these articles as much as we will.


Let's be honest: there hasn't been enough time this season to draw too many firm conclusions about the quality of season this team or its individuals is going to have this year. Baseball has a long season (we're still less than 10 percent of the way through) and there will be plenty of time to discuss the individual merits of each player.

Previous installments in this Purple Row writer reunion tour have featured expert baseball analysis and nostalgic reminiscence. I will provide neither in this feature, or indeed anything of significance. What I will do is rate the team that has appeared on the field thus far on something on which we have 100 percent sample size: their names and, more importantly, their ability to make excellent anagrams. When I stepped down as managing editor five months ago, I did so to have a little more fun watching the team this year. So instead of wRC+, xFIP, and optimal lineup construction theory, this is the sort of inconsequential stuff I think about.

Anyway, I ranked Colorado Rockies players (all of whom have appeared in at least one game by Tuesday, April 21) by a combination of name quality (25 percent), best anagram (50 percent), and anagram depth (25 percent). When there were no usable anagrams with a name (based upon searches on this site), I scored the category on a 1-to-10 scale and provided the best anagram that came close. Warning: this will get weird pretty fast.

My rulings are of course absolute and unyielding, unless I make a glaring mistake. In that case, we are at war with Eastasia. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

Group 1: Boring

These players are lucky to be in the big leagues with names as nondescript and/or anagram-proof as these

27. Drew Stubbs (no usable anagrams; needed to use Andrew Stubbs to get anything)

Name: 4
Best Anagram: 1 -- Snubbed Warts
Anagram Depth: 1 -- Nabbed Wursts
Weighted Average: 1.75

It's disappointing to see a name that has zero usable anagrams, though it fits his white bread look to a tee. Stubbs is the clear benchwarmer in this group.

26. Scott Oberg (106 usable anagrams)

Name: 4
Best Anagram: 2 -- Cog Bettors
Anagram Depth: 1 -- Get Cots Bro
Weighted Average: 2.25

A scenario in which anyone would choose to actually bet on cogs has almost assuredly been thought of and monetized by now. People who take advantage of degenerate gamblers are very good at that by this stage in human history.

T-23. Brooks Brown (72 usable anagrams)

Name: 4
Best Anagram: 3 -- Borrow Knobs
Anagram Depth: 1 -- none of note
Weighted Average: 2.75

Someone named Brooks Brown is exactly the kind of person you could work alongside at your place of business for six years and never engage in a personal conversation. If you'd only care to ask, he'd gladly tell you that he's been borrowing knobs recently for the Rube Goldberg machine he constructed to turn off his bedroom light switch after he's done reading for the night.

T-23. John Axford (five usable anagrams)

Name: 6
Best Anagram: 2 -- Rad Fox John
Anagram Depth: 1 -- none of note
Weighted Average: 2.75

I mean, Axford is a really promising start, but the J really kills the momentum here. Take it from someone with a "J" name that has only 6 usable anagrams (Baffle Jeer).

T-23. Tyler Matzek (three usable anagrams)

Name: 6
Best Anagram: 2 -- Lazy Met Trek
Anagram Depth: 1 -- none of note
Weighted Average: 2.75

Man, Z is worse than J for this exercise. At least Matzek's anagram was somewhat baseball related -- I imagine a lazy Met would take a cab instead of walking those five blocks to the bodega when he runs out of hot sauce. Who am I kidding? He'd totally just order Chinese.

Group 2: Unremarkable

Some of these players are generally good at baseball, but their anagrams just aren't major league caliber

T-21. Rafael Ynoa (805 usable anagrams)

Name: 6
Best Anagram: 2 -- A Lean Foray
Anagram Depth: 2 -- A Leafy Roan
Weighted Average: 3.0

As a Ninja Turtles aficionado, I will always give points for people named after one of the titular heroes in a half shell (even if he spells it wrong). Ynoa also has some wordplay potential, but alas the search for quality anagrams is indeed a lean foray in this case.

T-21. Carlos Gonzalez (922 usable anagrams)

Name: 5
Best Anagram: 3 -- Coral Gas Nozzle
Anagram Depth: 1 -- none of note
Weighted Average: 3.0

The double Z really kills CarGo here. The anagram program was really trying to sell me on razz or razzle, but nothing quite popped. Then again, a coral gas nozzle might well be something that is commonplace in CarGo's Venezuelan homeland. Coral, after all, is best employed in a tropical setting.

20. Adam Ottavino (2,594 usable anagrams)

Name: 5
Best Anagram: 3 -- Tomato Van Aid
Anagram Depth: 2 -- Avoid Atom Tan
Weighted Average: 3.25

The reliever, a veteran of Italy's 2009 World Baseball Classic roster, would seem to be more qualified than most major leaguers to deliver tomatoes to those in need. Hopefully he just hand delivers them ; a tomato slider would probably be tomato paste by the time it reached its intended target.

T-18. Troy Tulowitzki (384 usable anagrams)

Name: 7
Best Anagram: 3 -- Kiwi Zloty Tutor
Anagram Depth: 1 -- none of note
Weighted Average: 3.5

I found it difficult when grading the "name" portion of this exercise to give anyone a particularly high grade. There are no obvious 10 names like Rock ShouldersLil StonerCannonball Titcomb, or Pebbly Jack Glasscock. In fact, Tulo is tied for the team lead with a 7 in this category and even that might be a little generous. Baseball nicknames in particular used to be fantastic.

Zloty, by the way, is the currency of Poland, so a kiwi zloty tutor is, of course, a visiting finance professor from New Zealand to the University of Warsaw.

T-18. Kyle Kendrick (19 usable anagrams)

Name: 4
Best Anagram: 4 -- Kick Nerdy Elk
Anagram Depth: 2 -- Kind Clerk Key
Weighted Average: 3.5

I can't imagine that it's easy to be an elk with nerd proclivities, given the fact that most of your time on this earth as an elk is devoted to just staying alive and not to staging grand Star Wars reenactments or memorizing the first few hundred digits of Pi. Also, Kendrick wants to kick you.

17. Christian Friedrich (83,335 usable anagrams)

Name: 5
Best Anagram: 4 -- Dirtier Finch Chairs
Anagram Depth: 2 -- Scratchier Hindi Fir
Weighted Average: 3.75

Here we have a preponderance of potential anagrams but very few that actually amount to anything. Let's hope that's not a tortured metaphor for Friedrich's career. In any case, finch chairs are generally branches of some sort, though I'm not sure if birds actually ever sit.

Group 3: Fine

These are the not quite ready for primetime players on this list. So far, we've had some pretty disappointing anagrams. Beginning with this group, we finally see some promise.

16. Wilin Rosario (875 usable anagrams)

Name: 6
Best Anagram: 5 -- I Ail In Sorrow
Anagram Depth: 2 -- Row Raisin Oil

Weighted Average: 4.5

Rosario's catcher defense has caused sorrow for many Rockies fans. Hopefully his removal from behind the plate provides succor for that ailment.

T-14. Jorge De La Rosa (7,581 usable anagrams)

Name: 6
Best Anagram: 5 -- Good Jar Sealer
Anagram Depth: 3 -- Goo Jar Dealers, Jeers Gala Odor
Weighted Average: 4.75

A good jar sealer is a vital part of a successful raspberry jelly distribution facility from a disease prevention standpoint, just as a good De La Rosa carries a high level of importance for the Rockies in terms of run prevention. Synergy!

T-14. Justin Morneau (16,610 usable anagrams)

Name: 5
Best Anagram: 4 -- Unjust Romaine
Anagram Depth: 6 -- Injure Amounts, Uranium Jets On, Autumns Rejoin
Weighted Average: 4.75

As my dear mother would tell you, I'm of the opinion that romaine is almost never justified. Seriously, why do people eat lettuce? It's so ... devoid of anything to recommend it. Somebody needs to turn uranium jets on the romaine.

T-10. Daniel Descalso (107,143 usable anagrams)

Name: 5
Best Anagram: 5 -- All Casino Deeds
Anagram Depth: 6 -- Diocesan Ladles, A Sedan Collides, Dosed Alliances
Weighted Average: 5.25

The kind of people that figure out how to profit from cog betting are the people who hold all of the casino deeds. I'd reckon that a Venn diagram between those unsavory individuals and those that use diocesan ladles has minimal overlap.

T-10. DJ LeMahieu (80 usable anagrams)

Name: 6
Best Anagram: 7 -- Jade Helium
Anagram Depth: 1 -- none of note
Weighted Average: 5.25

Jade helium sounds impossible to me, given the conflicting states of matter involved. Maybe it's just that you are only tempted to buy jade when high on helium? In any case, that's a pretty great anagram.

T-10. LaTroy Hawkins (36,754 usable anagrams)

Name: 5
Best Anagram: 7 -- Swarthy Kaolin
Anagram Depth: 2 -- Narwhal Ski Toy
Weighted Average: 5.25

In other words, this anagram is the evil twin version of kaolin clay, a white substance integral to the production of china and/or porcelain. The more you know! Also, it's wonderful that narwhals are a real thing.

T-10. Nolan Arenado (1,349 usable anagrams)

Name: 6
Best Anagram: 6 -- Noon Anal Dare
Anagram Depth: 3 -- Land Noon Area, Lean Anon Roan

Weighted Average: 5.25

Kids these days really have upped the ante on these double dog dares. This is the sort of thing that seems fated to end poorly.

T-8. Jordan Lyles (175 usable anagrams)

Name: 4
Best Anagram: 8 -- Lordly Jeans
Anagram Depth: 2 -- Jelly Adorns
Weighted Average: 5.5

"M'lord, our guests wish to ride in the countryside. Will you accompany them?"

"But of course, Jeeves! I shall meet them in the stables forthwith."

"Shall I fetch your jeans?"


"Very good, m'lord."

T-8. Nick Hundley (67 usable anagrams)

Name: 4
Best Anagram: 8 -- Kidney Lunch
Anagram Depth: 2 -- Lined Chunky
Weighted Average: 5.5

Depending on how literal the word kidney is in this context, that could be the bedrock of a healthy lunch. It could also form a psychopath's repast or be the result of an awful trick played on you by Eric Cartman. Context is important.

Group 4: Delightful

There's nary a weak link in this bunch, and some of them have star potential.

7. Rafael Betancourt (93,751 usable anagrams)

Name: 7
Best Anagram: 7 -- A Fatal Truce Boner
Anagram Depth: 3 -- A Notable Fracture
Weighted Average: 6.0

I'm guessing that this situation has played out more than a few times in history (especially in the context of Merkle's Boner -- get your mind out of the gutter!). I'm also pretty sure this had negative repercussions for Robb Stark with respect to his treaty with the Freys (mind firmly in gutter).

T-4. Boone Logan (350 usable anagrams)

Name: 6
Best Anagram: 7 -- Bone Lagoon
Anagram Depth: 5 -- Lebanon Goo, One Bologna, Bongo Alone
Weighted Average: 6.25

The Bone Lagoon seems like the kind of place where a James Bond villain would feed his henchmen to sharks with laser beams attached to their heads (or at least ill-tempered mutated sea bass). I think Mr. Logan needs to take quite a few hitters to the Bone Lagoon this year to help make up for last year's disaster.

T-4. Christian Bergman (93,751 usable anagrams)

Name: 5
Best Anagram: 6 -- Training Chambers
Anagram Depth: 8 -- Benign Matriarchs, Arching Brain Stem, Hamstring Carbine, Cannabis Might Err

Weighted Average: 6.25

Stacks on stacks of good anagram candidates here. As it so happens, I inhabited a training chamber today for several hours, a location that my benign matriarch sent me to on a daily basis during my formative years. It is unlikely, though possible, that I incurred an arching brain stem due to my poor posture. Use of cannabis after this session could conceivably cause me to fire a carbine into a hamstring.

T-4. Michael McKenry (4,734 usable anagrams)

Name: 4
Best Anagram: 6 -- My Machine Clerk
Anagram Depth: 9 -- My Chance Milker, Ceramic Elk Hymn, Check My Mineral, Mr. Mealy Chicken

Weighted Average: 6.25

My, my, my, do we ever have some doozies here? In performing his role as a backup catcher, McKenry must play the role of machinist, geologist, and milkmaid -- whatever the pitching staff needs to be successful. I think that Mr. Mealy Chicken could be the heir apparent to his San Diego cousin's position.

3. Eddie Butler (1,161 usable anagrams)

Name: 4
Best Anagram: 7 -- Diluted Beer
Anagram Depth: 8 -- Druid Beetle, Elided Tuber, Debit Dueler

Weighted Average: 6.5

The version of Eddie Butler we're seeing now at the major league level certainly appears to be a diluted version of the fearsome force we saw at the 2013 Futures Game. Pray to the Druid Beetle that we ever see that kind of performance from Butler again.

Group 5: Exquisite

Quite simply, these two gentlemen were blessed with phenomenal anagram names.

2. Corey Dickerson (19,742 usable anagrams)

Name: 5
Best Anagram: 9 -- Dorky Cicerones
Anagram Depth: 9 -- Rescind Cookery, Crook Residency, Rocky Nose Cider, Secrecy Ink Door

Weighted Average: 8.0

I hope by reading this piece you're learning just how wonderful the English language truly is. For instance, a cicerone is a museum or gallery guide. Unfortunately, a dorky cicerone is unlikely to provide an informative museum visit. Perusing the great variety of anagrams here shows there's a ton of humor to be found without resorting to dick jokes, though those who enjoy that sort of thing can easily find it among the results as well (the word sorcery is prominently involved).

1. Charlie Blackmon (77,548 usable anagrams)

Name: 5
Best Anagram: 9 -- Lock Chamberlain
Anagram Depth: 10 -- Rollback Machine, Melancholic Bark, Manic Ball Choker, Oral Chicken Balm

Weighted Average: 8.25

There can only be one Lock Chamberlain, one Rollback Machine to lead the team through thick and thin. It's this magnificently hirsute paragon of society. In my opinion (which, in this exercise is the only one that matters), Lock Chamberlain and Rollback Machine were the two best anagrams -- and both were produced by one Chuck Nazty.

Final Grid

Rank Player Best Anagram Name Best Anagram Anagram Depth Total
1 Charlie Blackmon Lock Chamberlain 5 9 10 8.25
2 Corey Dickerson Dorky Cicerones 5 9 9 8.0
3 Eddie Butler Diluted Beer 4 7 8 6.5
4 Michael McKenry My Machine Clerk 4 6 9 6.25
4 Christian Bergman Training Chambers 5 6 8 6.25
4 Boone Logan Bone Lagoon 6 7 5 6.25
7 Rafael Betancourt A Fatal Truce Boner 7 7 3 6.0
8 Nick Hundley Kidney Lunch 4 8 2 5.5
9 Jordan Lyles Lordly Jeans 4 8 2 5.5
10 Nolan Arenado Noon Anal Dare 6 6 3 5.25
10 LaTroy Hawkins Swarthy Kaolin 5 7 2 5.25
10 DJ LeMahieu Jade Helium 6 7 1 5.25
10 Daniel Descalso All Casino Deeds 5 5 6 5.25
14 Justin Morneau Unjust Romaine 5 4 6 4.75
14 Jorge De La Rosa Good Jar Sealer 6 5 3 4.75
16 Wilin Rosario I Ail In Sorrow 6 5 2 4.5
17 Christian Friedrich Dirtier Finch Chairs 5 4 2 3.75
18 Kyle Kendrick Kick Nerdy Elk 4 4 2 3.5
18 Troy Tulowitzki Kiwi Zloty Tutor 7 3 1 3.5
20 Adam Ottavino Tomato Van Aid 5 3 2 3.25
21 Carlos Gonzalez Coral Gas Nozzle 5 3 1 3.0
21 Rafael Ynoa A Lean Foray 6 2 2 3.0
23 Tyler Matzek Lazy Met Trek 6 2 1 2.75
23 John Axford Rad Fox John 6 2 1 2.75
23 Brooks Brown Borrow Knobs 4 3 1 2.75
26 Scott Oberg Cog Bettors 4 2 1 2.25
27 Drew Stubbs Snubbed Warts 4 1 1 1.75

So there you have it, Colorado's roster ranked by anagrams. There will be a vocabulary test on Monday.