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.
|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|
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|
|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.
|New York Mets||26||4.9||0.239||0.331||0.383|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||27||4.7||0.248||0.326||0.397|
|St. Louis Cardinals||27||4.7||0.236||0.319||0.39|
|San Diego Padres||29||3.93||0.228||0.298||0.37|
|San Francisco Giants||28||3.6||0.238||0.299||0.379|
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|
|New York Mets||15||76||0.227||0.313||0.371|
|St. Louis Cardinals||15||73||0.235||0.32||0.411|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||12||69||0.263||0.349||0.399|
|San Diego Padres||12||44||0.228||0.285||0.355|
|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|
|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|
|St. Louis Cardinals||12||53||0.238||0.317||0.364|
|New York Mets||11||51||0.257||0.357||0.403|