Rockies In Search of Answers to Offensive Questions

The Rockies head into a three-game visit to Wrigley Field starting on Monday night with a 15-14 record. They are in second place in the NL West, five games behind the D-Backs, but a half game up on the third-place Giants and two games ahead of the Dodgers.

What's surprising is the Rockies have actually been able to stay above .500 despite an offense that has been, well, for the lack of a better description -- offensive.

Nolan Arenado is the only Rockies player among the NL leaders in average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. And Charlie Blackmon (ninth in on-base percentage) is the only other member of the team among league leaders.

Player Team AVG Player Team OBP Player Team SLG
Tommy Pham StL 0.341 Rhys Hoskins Phi 0.468 Javier Baez ChC 0.656
Asdrubal Cabrera NYM 0.34 Bryce Harper Was 0.457 Ozzie Albies Atl 0.647
Odubel Herrera Phi 0.337 Tommy Pham StL 0.453 Brandon Belt SF 0.61
Rhys Hoskins Phi 0.318 Kris Bryant ChC 0.439 Charlie Blackmon Col 0.602
Brandon Belt SF 0.317 Freddie Freeman Atl 0.437 Kyle Schwarber ChC 0.592
Corey Dickerson Pit 0.316 Brandon Belt SF 0.424 A.J. Pollock Ari 0.582
Freddie Freeman Atl 0.314 Cesar Hernandez Phi 0.415 Asdrubal Cabrera NYM 0.58
Nolan Arenado Col 0.313 Jesse Winker Cin 0.415 Francisco Cervelli Pit 0.573
David Peralta Ari 0.309 Nolan Arenado Col 0.414 Freddie Freeman Atl 0.559
Francisco Cervelli Pit 0.307 Lorenzo Cain Mil 0.405 Rhys Hoskins Phi 0.553
Jose Martinez StL 0.306 Bryce Harper Was 0.54
Nick Markakis Atl 0.302 Paul DeJong StL 0.539
Scooter Gennett Cin 0.301 David Peralta Ari 0.532
Ryan Flaherty Atl 0.3 Nolan Arenado Col 0.53
Evan Longoria SF 0.527

 

It has created a feeling that things can only get better.

And that well could be true. The Rockies have been in a major funk since April 8. They have scored two or fewer runs in nine of 20 games since then after scoring fewer than two runs in two of their first nine games.

It's not a struggle that is easy to comprehend, considering the Rockies reputation for being a high-scoring team. But what can't be overlooked is since April 8 there has been at least one key offensive contributor out of the lineup all but one game for reasons other than simply having a day off.

And even good news is followed by bad. The Rockies announced on Monday that Carlos Gonzalez was being activated from the disabled list. And in the next breath, it was explained that the roster spot for Gonzalez was being created by placing second baseman DJ LeMahieu on the disabled list retroactive to Sunday because of a hamstring tightness that forced him out of Friday's game in Florida. 

The biggest question when LeMahieu returns -- barring another regular being sidelined in the interim -- will be whether the Rockies keep David Dahl and make him the regular left fielder, putting Ian Desmond at first base on a regular basis, turning Gerardo Parra into a fourth-outfielder/backup at first role, and sending Ryan McMahon to Triple-A Albuquerque. The alternative would probably be sending Dahl back to Albuquerque, which given Dahl's complete skill set doesn't seem likely. 

A Hole in the Offense
Player Problem Out Return Missed
OF Charlie Blackmon Back Tightness 8-Apr 9-Apr 1 Game
Quad Tightness 10-Apr 14-Apr 4 Games
3B Nolan Arenado 5-game suspension 14-Apr 20-Apr 5 Games
Carlos Gonzalez R hamstring strain 18-Apr Monday 10 Games
Gerardo Parra 4-game suspension 22-Apr 27-Apr 4 Games
DJ LeMahieu R hamstring tightness Saturday TBD 2 Games+

The Rockies are in an unfamiliar place in the NL offensive rankings -- in the lower half in most everything. They rank 14th out of 15 teams with a .224 batting average, 12th in runs per game (3.89), 12th in on-base percentage (.300) and eighth in slugging percentage at .382.

Team G RPG AVG OBP SLG
Atlanta Braves 27 5.59 0.268 0.342 0.44
Chicago Cubs 25 5.2 0.254 0.336 0.416
Pittsburgh Pirates 28 5 0.26 0.33 0.412
New York Mets 26 4.9 0.239 0.331 0.383
Los Angeles Dodgers 27 4.7 0.248 0.326 0.397
Philadelphia Phillies 27 4.7 0.232 0.324 0.37
St. Louis Cardinals 27 4.7 0.236 0.319 0.39
Arizona Diamondbacks 27 4.6 0.23 0.311 0.408
Washington Nationals 28 4.4 0.239 0.331 0.39
Cincinnati Reds 28 4 0.243 0.323 0.361
San Diego Padres 29 3.93 0.228 0.298 0.37
Colorado Rockies 29 3.89 0.224 0.3 0.382
Milwaukee Brewers 29 3.7 0.232 0.302 0.371
San Francisco Giants 28 3.6 0.238 0.299 0.379
Miami Marlins 27 3.3 0.222 0.297 0.319

On the road they are ninth in runs scored, but 15th in batting average and on-base percentage and 10th in slugging percentage. That's not a total surprise. The Rockies traditionally are at the lower end in the NL when it comes to creating offense on the road. 

Road (record 10-7) G R AVG OBP SLG
Washington Nationals 15 82 0.249 0.341 0.409
Chicago Cubs 14 77 0.25 0.336 0.417
New York Mets 15 76 0.227 0.313 0.371
Atlanta Braves 15 74 0.262 0.335 0.448
St. Louis Cardinals 15 73 0.235 0.32 0.411
Arizona Diamondbacks 15 71 0.23 0.303 0.423
Los Angeles Dodgers 12 69 0.263 0.349 0.399
Cincinnati Reds 16 62 0.247 0.325 0.344
Colorado Rockies 17 58 0.203 0.279 0.358
Pittsburgh Pirates 13 56 0.236 0.296 0.396
Milwaukee Brewers 15 53 0.23 0.291 0.345
Philadelphia Phillies 11 44 0.212 0.311 0.318
San Diego Padres 12 44 0.228 0.285 0.355
Miami Marlins 12 39 0.207 0.282 0.313
San Francisco Giants 14 35 0.222 0.281 0.347

At least the Rockies have a winning record (10-7) on the road. A team that has a reputation for dominating at home is only 5-7 at Coors Field, where they have been a middle-of-the-pack offensive team. This year, though, they are seventh in the NL in runs scored at home, fifth in average, and sixth in on-base percentage. They do rank third in slugging percentage.

Home (record 5-7) G R AVG OBP SLG
Pittsburgh Pirates 15 84 0.281 0.36 0.427
Philadelphia Phillies 16 82 0.246 0.334 0.408
Atlanta Braves 12 77 0.277 0.35 0.429
San Diego Padres 17 70 0.228 0.308 0.381
San Francisco Giants 14 65 0.254 0.317 0.41
Los Angeles Dodgers 15 59 0.234 0.303 0.395
Colorado Rockies 12 55 0.255 0.331 0.416
Milwaukee Brewers 14 54 0.234 0.315 0.401
Arizona Diamondbacks 12 53 0.231 0.321 0.388
Chicago Cubs 11 53 0.258 0.337 0.413
St. Louis Cardinals 12 53 0.238 0.317 0.364
New York Mets 11 51 0.257 0.357 0.403
Cincinnati Reds 12 50 0.237 0.32 0.384
Miami Marlins 15 49 0.234 0.308 0.323
Washington Nationals 13 41 0.227 0.319 0.36
Tracy RingolsbyComment