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Will the Rockies ever be a contender?

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  • Will the Rockies ever be a contender?

    I believe the the high altitude will prevent the Rockies from ever being a serious contender. Let me explain. Throughout the Rockies history they have allowed well over 900 runs per season on average (916 runs per season). For a team that allows 900 runs to be a contender they must score well over 1,000 runs. using Bill James Pythagorean method

    winning% = (RS)^1.83/[(RS)^1.83 + (RA)^1.83)]

    Using this and 900 runs allowed

    925 runs = 83 wins
    950 runs = 85 wins
    975 runs = 87 wins
    1000 runs = 89 wins
    1025 runs = 91 wins
    1050 runs = 92 wins

    The fewest runs they have allowed over a full 162 game season is 855 runs in 1998. Using this number

    900 runs = 85 wins
    925 runs = 87 wins
    950 runs = 89 wins
    975 runs = 91 wins
    1000 runs = 93 wins
    1025 runs = 94 wins
    1050 runs = 96 wins


    How are the Rockies going to realistically compete if they can't keep their runs allowed in the 850-870 range?

    Any thoughts? Opinions?
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  • #2
    i think there is only one way to win at coors: out-score your opponents with your bats.


    no pitcher wants to go to colorado, its hell and there isnt going to be too many guys that succeed there. look at the pitcher that have gone to crap there.

    i think if colorado wants to win a) your going to have to build a young, energetic hitting squad that can play good defense or b) move somewhere else

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    • #3
      maybe they need to switch to pure power pitchers (in the roger clemens, nolan ryan, Smoltz, Beckett, Wood category) as guys who rely on movement will never succeed there. correct me if i am wrong, but has colorado ever tried to get someone who threw routinely 95-98 instead of 91-94 (or less)?

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      • #4
        good point rockin500, i read somewhere (sporting news?) that tim hudson says his curveball doesnt break at all at coors

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        • #5
          They have relied too much on power hitters and mediocre pitching. It worked a few years where they won 83, 83, and 82 games. Give them two excellent pitchers and two mediocre pitchers on top of their usual power hitters and you have yourself a decent team. It worked in 1995, they won the NL Wild Card...
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          • #6
            Maybe if they get a few players who can take advantage of the cavernous outfield and stretch doubles into triples and even ITP home runs, that could also help.

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            • #7
              Firstly, 'ever' is a long time. To say that Rockies will never be a contender is ridiculous.

              Secondly, they could move out of Moon Gravity Field.

              Thirdly, if they actually won some more games on the road than instead of focusing on Moon Gravity Field, they'd do a lot better.

              Fourthly, if they had a ballpen and signed some high groundball/flyball ratio guys, they'd do a lot better.
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              • #8
                There was a thread on this same subject on the Rockies forum, here's the link:

                http://www.baseball-fever.com/showthread.php?t=30346

                In that thread, Wolverineman made a very well reasearched post, which I agree with 100%. I will reproduce that for you right here:

                Originally posted by Wolverineman
                I think they can be succesful, but it will be hard. I've thought about it before, and this is what I think they need to win. Getting all of it will be hard, but definately possible.

                1. Relief pitching. I don't think top starters can ever be that succesful there. Mike Hampton showed that, and he's a sinkerballer(i've always heard the problem was breaking balls not breaking and giving up too many fly balls, neither thing should be a problem for a sinkerballer). Go get as many top relief pitchers as possible. Specifically high K guys. I think at an inning at a time, they can be succesful.

                2. Outfield range. Because of the large park, get OFs that are fast. If they could get a LF and RF like Carl Crawford along with a very rangy CF, that would be a big boost.

                3. Infield power. And lots of it. Spend your $$ on this and relief pitching first. I think you still have to outslug people in Coors. Get players similar to Kent at 2B and Tejada at SS. Obviously those two are rare, but players similar to them.

                4. Veteran Catcher. Because pitchers will have a hard time adjusting to Coors, I think its neccesary to have a veteran catcher who's great with working with pitchers. I don't think a rookie catcher will be that good(i.e. this year with J.D. Closser).

                5. Mentally tough Starters. They don't even have to be that good. Guys that don't mind having a 5.00 ERA. Guys that don't fall apart from giving up a couple homers or just having a bad game. I look at Shawn Estes last year. Horrible ERA(5.84) but still managed to win 15 games with that team(while I agree that was a lot of luck, there is something to winning games despite a crappy team and insane ballpark). He also had his best month in September, which shows he didn't just give up by seasons end. And with my idea of loading up on top relievers, you probably would only need them to go 5 or 6 innings.

                Is that a lot to ask for? Absolutely. And you probably wouldn't need everything I listed. And who knows how this team would do in the playoffs. But I think they could be succesful.

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                • #9
                  It's hard to get pitchers with a high G/F ratio with that altitude. I doubt the Rockies will ever become title contenders. There is a connection between parks that are extremely hitter friendly and crappy teams (Wrigley Field, Fenway).

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                  • #10
                    Load up on hitters, that's the only chance here. I believe you would have far more luck luring big name hitters than pitchers here. The bad thing is that the park is so wacked, hitters believe their numbers will be tainted if they are attained in Coors. Crazy.
                    I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech and a Hell of an Engineer!

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                    • #11
                      With the Rockies, everything you know about team building is wrong. In my usual model, I prefer teams that develop hitters and sign pitchers via free agency. It's generally easier to draft dependable, successful hitters than it is to do the same for pitchers - there's a mantra in some sabremetric circles that there is "No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect", and it's a saying that there is certainly an element of truth in.

                      For the Rockies, though, you have to develop pitching simply because there's no way you're going to get free agent pitchers to sign there after what happened to Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle. On the other hand, it ought to be easier to sign good, but not great, hitters via free agency because of the balloon effect it has on hitting numbers. So, in some ways, they're heading in the right direction because what they're already doing is drafting and developing pitchers - but they need minor league environments that better prepare pitchers mentally for the run scoring environment in Coors Field. The other thing they need to do is be better (and more prolific) than anybody else in snagging relievers off of the free talent market (waivers, 6 year minor league free agents, cheap flyers on live arms, etc.). This should allow them to consistently assemble cheap, effective bullpens that mirror the model followed by the most successful Rockies team - the one that won the Wild Card in '95(?).
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                      • #12
                        If the Phillies could be contenders then so can the Rockies. The Rockies play in a division that looks ripe for the taking for a couple of years, so anything is possible. I think they should go back to the bludgeoning your opponent to death at home and trying to keep their head above water when playing away. Let the crafty veteran pitchers pitch away games and have a stable of young fireballers pitching at home. Call them up and down as you need them, use them up and throw them away when they get expensive or when they get destroyed. It isn't nice but I think they can't be spending money on pitching nor do they have the time to develop a pitcher so you might as well draft a lot of college grads with + fastballs and use them up before the league catches up to them.

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                        • #13
                          For what it's worth, the problem with the Rocks hasn't ever been winning in Coors - they're over .500 over the course of their existence at home. It's away from home that the problem rears its head, so the idea that they can't win in Colorado isn't true.
                          I'm NickG, and I approve this message.

                          Home page

                          "In God we trust, all else must have data."
                          -- Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson

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                          • #14
                            extend the size of the outfield

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                            • #15
                              The outfield is already the largest in the majors. It is part of the problem, not only does a ball carry well thus making home runs more likely, but due to the enormous outfield it is easier to hit doubles, singles, and triples as well.

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