Baseball analyst Bill James introduced the concept that run differential was a key indicator of a team’s overall performance. It seems to be a pretty solid algorithm: if you score more runs than your opponents, you will do well during the whole season. The Rockies are turning this on its head though. They are still a playoff contender, but they are the only ones in the race that have a negative run differential. Bud Black comments that it’s not always about the numbers, a tenet he has stood by all season long, placing trust in players despite questionable numbers. The Rockies provide an interesting twist, too, in that they have done well in one-run games (22-13), but they’ve also found themselves in many blowouts, where they give up double-digit runs.
One major thing standing in their way, though, is the .235 batting average with runners in scoring position. DJ LeMahieu’s grand slam was phenomenal, but overall the Rockies have stranded far too many runners. Black is not overly concerned about this, saying they don’t need to worry yet about changing strategy. However, this is a pretty large issue that the Rockies need to keep plugging away at.
The Rockies didn’t show much action around the trade deadline. They’re one of just a few teams that made few adjustments. One of the most surprising things was the Rockies not picking up Daniel Murphy. After an abysmal June, the Rockies have bounced back to have an amazing summer. The struggling offense has picked up, with a few exceptions, one being Ian Desmond at first base. Daniel Murphy might have been a decent filler for that position, despite suffering some injuries himself this season, as well as having more experience at second base. Even Dan O’Dowd, former Rockies GM and current analyst for the MLB Network, expressed surprise at the Rockies’ lack of interest in a player who really could help them out. Apparently, though, the organization had its reasons. One major reason would have been the hefty price tag that would have come along with Murphy. Regardless of the reasons, Murphy is now with the Cubs, and the Rockies have to rely on the team they have to get the job done in 2018.
Troy Tulowitzki has long had issues staying healthy, having only played more than 131 games three years since his debut in 2006. Tulowitzki’s time with the Rockies solidified him as a top shortstop, even when adjusted for the Coors Field element. Since heading up to Canada, though, he’s had a less stellar performance. The Blue Jays have prepared for his absence this year due to injury, but Tulo has announced that he hopes to be back playing in the 2019 season. They’re trying to make up for his absence, but shortstop is a hard spot to fill.