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Five Things: Home runs are unsustainable

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Welcome to Five Things! Every Monday I'll take a look at some trends from the past week in Rockies land and sprinkle in some video clips, beard commentary, and a TOOTBLAN counter.

Carlos Gonzalez flies around the basepaths after his second home run against the Padres on Sunday, 4/10/16.
Carlos Gonzalez flies around the basepaths after his second home run against the Padres on Sunday, 4/10/16.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Note: All theories based off statistics based on six games, AKA a small sample size. It's not enough to accurately prove anything. Just roll with it.

Trevor Story’s record-setting beginning to his career has been nothing short of brilliant. His ability and demeanor is everything that Rockies fans wanted and his power output is, by far, the most exciting part of the young season. The rest of the team is feeding off his power; the Rockies and their 17 home runs are leading Major League Baseball by three over the next team, the San Francisco Giants. The crazy part about it, though, is that the Rockies are tied with the New York Yankees for fifth in runs scored with 35. Why weren’t the Rockies generating more runs? The power is there, the Rockies are getting on base at a league-average rate, shouldn’t those two statistics translate into a higher run rate?

The Rockies have generated 26 of their 35 runs off of home runs. That’s a 74 percent runs from home runs rate (RFHR), which is unbelievably high. The next closest team is Houston, who has scored 28 runs and 19 came off homers, a 68 percent rate.

I went through each game this season and calculated how many runs were generated by homers in major league baseball through the first week. Out of the 768 runs scored this year, 310 have come on home runs. That’s 40 percent of all runs scored, a much more normal rate. The Rockies have nearly doubled the league average so far.

Hell, the Rockies are generating more runs that Carlos Gonzalez did in his 40 home run, 97 RBI season last year. Gonzalez, a power hitter, is expected to generate a solid amount of runs via homers, so a high RFHR rate is expected. The Rockies, a team, are made of players that range from CarGo’s power to Jorge De La Rosa’s dangerous home run swing; in other words, they shouldn’t be close to Gonzalez’s RFHR. They’ve surpassed it; Gonzalez produced a 72 RFHR rate. For reference, the National League co-home run leader, Nolan Arenado, posted a 57 RFHR.

There are two teams that have scored less than ten percent of their runs via the long ball, and both are from Los Angeles. The Dodgers have generated four runs from homers but have scored 42 in their first seven games leading to a 9.5 RFHR percentage. The Angels have scored 12 runs in six games with only one solo home run, an 8.3 RFHR. At least the Rockies don’t have that problem.

I love home runs as much of the next guy, but this unbelievable rate is unsustainable. Expect a regression over the next few weeks. With that regression in mind, the Rockies will need to figure out how to compensate for those runs elsewhere, because you can’t always hit home runs.

Unless your name is Trevor Story.

Five Things that are good or bad

1. Trevor Story has more home runs than over half of the teams in baseball.

Story has seven. Sixteen teams have fewer than seven. Three teams have seven. Story is generating more power in 21 at-bats than teams have generated in seven games. He also has 12 RBI; the same amount that the Los Angeles Angels and Minnesota Twins have as a team.

Will it sustain over the rest of the month, let alone the entire season? Of course not. But appreciate it while it’s happening because it’s never been done before.

This is good.

2. Jorge De La Rosa is struggling.

De La Rosa has given up more earned runs than innings pitched so far. The last time he did that was on May 20 and 25, 2009. He did it once in July 2010, but was coming off an injury and a limited pitch count. It’s a bit concerning considering that the last time his ratio numbers were this bad, De La Rosa was 26 and coming out of the bullpen for Milwaukee and Kansas City. It’s safe to say DLR doesn’t have his good stuff to start the season, but see disclaimer at top of screen. At this point, the terror alert has gone from green to blue. Don’t panic, but keep an eye on it.

This is bad.

3. No rainouts!

Unlike on the East Coast, the weather in Colorado was beautiful over the weekend and looks to stay that way through the San Francisco series. As a reluctant east coaster, I’ve come to appreciate how great Colorado weather is. Appreciate it while you can.

This is good for you, bad for me.

4. The best commercial of the decade is here.

If Gonzalez’s fu manchu doesn’t make you laugh hysterically, I don’t know how to help you.

This is so good I can barely contain my excitement.

5. No TOOTBLAN’s this week!

For those of you don’t know, a TOOTBLAN(Thrown Out On The Basepaths Like A Nincompoop) is a statistic that records idiotic baserunning outs. The Rockies had a lot of these over the last few years. I will be tracking the Rockies TOOTBLAN’s and providing insightful analysis to each one. Plus, TOOTBLAN is fun to say.

This is good.