Coors Field: Blessing or Curse? | Community – FanGraphs Baseball
Purple Row community member Juan Pablo Zubillaga dives into the Coors Field hangover question on the FanGraphs community page. He found that while most ballparks have an observably positive effect on the home team's offense, that this effect was most pronounced for the Rockies—by a lot. In other words, Coors Field boosts the Rockies' offense at home more than Yankee Stadium boosts the Yankees' offense.
That finding might not be too surprising. There's more. He also found that Coors Field is the only ballpark in Major League Baseball to also significantly boost the opponent's offense. As he says, "we've been using the term 'hitter's park' way too lightly." Coors Field provides home field for Rockies hitters, but not for Rockies pitchers, and in that respect it's in a league of its own.
Juan Pablo addresses the Coors Field hangover question by parsing the Rockies' huge offensive boost at home and asks if it might be explained by relative collapses on the road. He suggests that the fact that the Rockies play upwards of 48 percent of their road games in NL West ballparks, which are all tough on their opponent's offensive production regardless of whether or not they are "hitter's parks," plays a significant role in the division between the Rockies home/road splits. In fact, the Rockies' offensive decline in these parks matches the rest of the National League. "The thesis of a Coors Field Hangover effect is largely unproven," he writes, but "theres a good amount of circumstantial evidence that points to the existence of something like it."
My biggest takeaway from this is that Coors Field might not, in fact, offer the most advantageous home environment in baseball. That's because it's the only one that boosts the opponent's offense as well as the home team's offense, which is another way of saying it's the only one that actively hurts the home team's pitching. In any case, this is excellent stuff from Juan Pablo—maybe he'll even make an appearance in the comments to discuss it!
Baseball Prospectus | Tools of Ignorance: Forget It, Jake (subscription)
Questions about where the Corey Dickerson for Jake McGee swap illustrates that the Rockies have no clear direction, or if they just intend to be mediocre, have made the national stage. Jeff Quinton at Baseball Prospectus attempts to identify the motivation behind recent Rockies' moves.
One answer is that Dickerson is being overrated. I buy that. For however long he remains in the league, Dickerson is a declining bat away from losing all value. He's simply not good at anything else.
Another possibility is that the Rockies intend to compete right now. But Quinton turns to the argument that Matt Gross frequently, and convincingly, cites: if the Rockies think they are good enough to compete right now, why in the world did they trade Troy Tulowitzki?
Trying to identify an overall philosophy in the moves, Quinton suggests that the Rockies seem to be buying low on hitters in free agency, which we can see in the Gerardo Parr and Mark Reynolds signings, as a way to sell high on hitters via trade, with the ultimate goal of getting more and cheaper pitching than would otherwise be possible.
That's all fine and good, and it's in the key of the discussion that's been taking place around here lately. Quinton's critique ultimately comes when he notes that the best strategy in the world is worth nothing if it does not account for context. He loses a bit of steam here.
Without elaborating much, the context to which he refers is the "competitive situation they are in at any given point in time." If this refers to the team overvaluing their own players, which leads to a mis-assessment of their competitive window, sure. If it means not accounting for the state of the NL West—well, the Dodgers and Giants are going to continue to be good. Whenever the Rockies are poised to compete, they are going to have to do so in a difficult division.
Finally, Quinton compares the response to the Dickerson-McGee swap to the James Shields for Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi trade. He concedes that baseball analysts might look similarly silly in a couple of years, but Quinton suggests that the difference is that "the Rockies are not a team that built one of the best minor league systems in baseball." To this, I counter: they are a team that has done just that. In fact, the strength of the minor league system and the fact that the Rockies did not make their future outlook worse by trading Dickerson (though they didn't necessarily improve it, either) has to be considered when parsing this trade.
The Dickerson for McGee trade is alive. The deal that involved two guys drafted and groomed by their respective clubs, is the start of a new trade tree. I'd bet that both McGee and Dickerson are traded again in the next few years, and I'm really interested to see how it all branches out.