Lodo Magic

A Colorado Rockies blog, among other things…

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Well Its been awhile

Posted by lodomagic on February 20, 2007

Its been awhile since I’ve updated, basically between being a full time student, and a full time boyfriend, as well as finding time to work, do homework, etc, I kinda loose site of this blog.    I hope in due time that will change.

If you don’t know by now, Spring Training is finally here.  As a die hard Rockies (baseball) fan, spring training marks a wonderful time for me.  The cold dead months of winter are coming to a close, and the hope of following a winning team returns.  While I know the odds of the rockies winning something this year is slim,  I like a lot of cubs fans watch my team with the hope of what a new season brings.   It consumes me, almost to the point of being an addiction.   With that, lets feed this addiction further and take a look at some stories heading into this spring:

Q)  Will we miss Jennings?  What can we expect from Hirsh?

A)  While I didn’t really voice my opinion on this trade, I like a lot of baseball people think the rockies got a great deal here.  All reports hinted that Jennings was on his way out anyways, and I think its smart to get something before you loose  a guy in free agency.  With that said,  the something we got was a Gold Mine.   I don’t think its out of the relm of expectation to think Hirsh will at least be equal to Jennings pre 2006, and since he’s young, he can improve to become even better.   We might miss Jennings 2006 season, but then again,  I think Jennings might miss his 2006 season, as his performance would be very hard to duplicate, no matter what uniform he is wearing.

Q) Whats up with Catcher?

A) I fully expect Ianetta to break camp, unless he gets injured or is even less unproductive then Clint Barmes was last year.   When it comes to who is number 2, thats a greater question.  You have a catcher who never really has done much, but is a solid number 2 catcher in Torrialba, and then you got Lopez, who has had some great seasons, but seems to be in a sharp decline.   I think Lopez is the Higher risk Higher reward option while Torri is a what you see is what you get kinda deal.  My bets are on Lopez, because if this orginization wants to do something this year,  risk will be needed.

I hope to do be more active over the next few months, and add even more question answer type of post and such.  So please check back later.  Until then,  Go Rockies.

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Coco is not a Crisp Solution

Posted by lodomagic on October 10, 2006

The Wonderful bloggers at at Purplerow and Bad Alttiude seem to think that Coco Crisp is an ideal target for our Center Field Woes. I don’t belive this is the best option for the Rockies. Lets look at some numbers:

First our own centerfielders:

Cory Sullivan: .267/.321/.402 – .729 OPS

Choo Freeman: .237/.298/.341 – .629 OPS

Jeff Salazar: .283/.409/.415 – .824 OPS – Low Sample Size

Ryan Spilborghs .287/.337/.431 – .773 OPS

And a look at Coco Crisp

.264/.317/.385 – .702 OPS

even if this was an offyear for Crips, his career numbers come to:

.282/.329/.416 – .745 OPS

When you factor in defence Crisp was at the bottom of the list in terms of CF. So basically Crips is Cory Sullivan with worse defense.

Here is my proposed solution:

Jeff Baker,  he ripped it up in the minor leagues and in the Month of September.  It was once thought that because of his athetic ability he would be moved to 2b,  so I think he clearly could be average at CF, als you can always keep Sullivan or Salazar around for a late inning replacement.  Consider the following lineup.

1) Carroll 2b
2) Baker CF

3) Atkins 3b

4) Holliday LF

5) Helton 1b
6) Hawpe RF
7) Ianetta/Torrealba C

8) Tulo SS

Anouther reason I wouldn’t want to trade for Crisp is because we would probably have to give up a decent prospect to do so.  On the Rockies Fanhome board, the discussion was brought up aboud trading Morales for Crips, and while as a Rockies fan that seems to be too much, given how many teams are looking to fill a hole at CF,  Morales might be the reasonable asking price.   This just isn’t the market to trade for a guy lik Crisp,  instead move Baker to CF, and get max value for a guy like Sulivan.

Thoughts? Ideas?  Leave a comment.

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Droping the ball

Posted by lodomagic on June 14, 2006

Well, to my loyal readers I apologize for the lack of updates here at Lodo Magic, running a blog is harder then I expected, but with school out for the summer (minus a class) I should have more time to focus here.

Looking at the NL Allstar leaders, I can't help but feel a little angry. On the Rockies roster, I think we have 6 players that could be very deserving players to be named for the allstar game. I will go them and give you my thoughts on the matter.

Matt Holliday – Holliday is having a great season, putting up a line of .342/.385/.617, however he's not even in the top 15 vote getters for the NL outfield. Here is a guy who is one of the top five outfielders in the NL right now, and players such as Xavier Nady, and So Taguchi rank in front of him in votes.

Brad Hawpe – While he seems to be in a little bit of a funk as of late, Hawpe is still putting together a very good campain. He is hitting .305/.378/.545 in his seconed year as a starter. While he isn't having as good of a season as Holliday, he is still very solid, and is a much better player then Nady and Taguchi

Garrett Atkins – While I don't think he is the best third basemen in the league, one can make an argument for him going to the allstar game. Atkins runs into a problem of having a lot of very good 3b in the NL. Wright, Rolen, and Cabrera are all having better season then Atkins .329/.398/.519 line, however one can make the case to have him ahead of Jones and Ensberg, instead, not mention at all of Atkins

Jeff Francis – Pitchers are chosen by the manager, so fans really have no say in who pitches, but I hope Phil Garner takes a look at Jeff Francis, his record of 5-5 is nothing to write home about, but then again, you can't tell much about a pitcher with his W/L record anyways. Francis has put up a 3.76 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP, leaving him at 13th in WHIP leaders, while pitching at Coors (not that as much of a hitters park as in years past)

Aaron Cook – Cook is anouther pitcher who should get some consideration as well. Currently he is 5-6 with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.44 Whip, while his numbers arn't as good as Francis, he is turning into an Ace pitcher, or at the very least, a solid number 2 option

Brian Fuentes – Last years allstar is following up with anouther solid 2006 campain. With 14 saves and a 2.36 ERA, and a 1.09, Fuentes is probably one of the most underated clossers in the game. He should easly claim a spot on this years team.

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No… I havn’t fallen off the face of the earth, and Niether have the Rockies.

Posted by lodomagic on May 2, 2006

Well, the Rockies lost yesterday 2-0, however they are still 15-11 and they are still a game and a half ahead of the San Fransico Sterio… I mean Giants.   If you going to get 1 hit, get one hit when the giants also loose.  Thats my theory.  Lets take a look at some stats here, and see where we can imrpove.

Sullivan .314/.364/.520/.884 – Earlier like most Rockies fans, I was hard on Sullivan, however if he continues to slug at a .520 clip and get on base at a .364 clip, then he will be manning center field for years to come.

 Barmes .252/.274/.374/.648 – To say that Barmes has struggled a bit would be an understatement. Hurdle should consider dropping Barmes in the order, and letting someone like Jason Smith, or Jamie Carrol get slotted in the Number 2 hole, with Helton still on the DL,  Smith and Carrol are getting a fair number of starts, and hitting number 2 would be a great way of using there stats to our advantage.  Earlier I was going to go through the team and see where we can upgrade, well if Barmes continues to struggle, this might be a place to get a 1 year filler until Tulo is ready (which might be sooner rather then later, considering how well he's doing at AA)

Holliday .255/.286/.472/.757 – Holliday has been heating up a bit, but he's struggled,  his numbers are almost as bad as Barmes, except for the higher slugging.  He needs to turn it up a notch, or the Rockies will be looking for a LF come July 31

Atkins .340/.413/.546/.959 – Well, Atkins has been good…. He's been very very good actually, if Atkins continues to play this well, the Rockies have a problem,  well Stewart spend the whole year in AA or AAA even if he's raking?  Will Atkins or Stewart Move to the outfield?  What about Jeff Baker?   At least this is a good problem to have.

Hawpe .354/.436/.656/1.093 -  For as good as Aktins has been, Hawpe has been better.  Slugging above .640 and getting on base.  I will admit, I wasn't sold on Hawpe before the seaon, but he's proving that he is the real deal.

Gonzalez .241/.267/.397/.663 – Gonzo has also struggled as well, but he seems to be turning it on also after hitting a homerun in flordia.  He really needs to get hot soon though, because Carrol and Smith have been good and threaten to push Gonzo back into the utility role.

Ardoin Bad/Worse/Ugly -  When does Torrealba come back?

Other notables:

Smith and Carrol have put up .878 and .813 OPS.

What would my lineup be until Helton Comes back??

1. Sullivan CF

2. Carrol/Smith 2b/1b

3. Atkins 3b

4. Hawpe RF

5. Holliday LF

6. Gonzalez 2b/1b

7. Barmes SS

8. Ojeda C

9. Pitcher

       

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What upgrades do we need part 1.

Posted by lodomagic on April 17, 2006

Well as promised last night, I said I would run down position by position of the rockies, and give my input on what can be upgraded if we are in contention by July 31.   For now, lets take a look at the outfield.

LF – I think Holliday is a star in the making,  and the rest of the league is starting to take notice as well, as evidence as to his participation on team USA in the WBC just last month.  Some things that worrry me about him however is that he 1) Has had his share of injury problems in the past, 2) Always seems to start of slow, and 3) Has Bores as an agent, which means the Rockies chances of being able to afford him in the future are very very slim.   Also his defense in LF has been suspect as well.  However if he's hitting like he normally does come July, there is no reason to replace him.  Looking at the farm system, we have guys like Seth Smith, Dextor Flowler, and even guys like Jeff Baker and Garret Atkins who can be moved to LF if Holliday gets to pricey in the future.  So for now,  LF is not a hole on this team.

CF – Here we have Sullivan, who I don't think is much more then a 4th outfielder.  He just doesn't have enough power in the bat to be a middle of the order hitter, and he doesn't walk enough and provide a good enough OBP to be a top of the order hitter.  A good team could hide him in the 7 or 8 spot of the lineup, but we aren't and elite team yet.  What he does provide is solid fielding in CF, so he could be usefull as a late innings replacement, but if July 31 comes around, and Sullivan his hitting .280 with an OBP of .330 or so,  it might be smart to see if we can get a CF to come our way.  In the system we have Choo Freeman, Ryan Salazar, and maybe Piedra can slide over and play CF, but all in all, there really isn't an impact outfielder until you hit about single A.  CF would be a great position to try to upgrade come July 31. 

RF – Here is a tricky one.  Hawpe has great minor league numbers, and a great arm in RF.  Recently he's been on a tear, and leads the club right now with 4 homeruns.  However, aside from this year, he has yet to prove himself for a full season in the big leagues.  If Hawpe can continue to produce like he has been, then he should be ok to help the team with a post season push.  I think CF is the more pressing needs among our outfield right now anyways.  

 I will post the SP, RP, and Infield thoughts later on (either later on today or sometime tomorrow)

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An update

Posted by lodomagic on April 17, 2006

Well, I've been very very busy this past week and havn't had much time to post about the rockies, with Easter, and Heading into finals and such,  April has just been a very busy month.   But here is a quick update.

I must ask, what is with this years Rockies?   It seems that we can now all of the sudden hit on the road, but when it comes to playing at the greatest hitting park ever built we get performances like today.  Rockies took 2/3 against the D-Backs and swept the Pads, but came back home only to win 1 againt the phils, however they were in all three games which is a positive step.  It look as if Zach Day will be the odd man out once BK is ready to come back, and I must I don't think any of my fellow bloggers will be sad to see him go.  

Strikeout watch

Well the Rockies have improved a bit, in  113 innings they only have struck out 85 times,  thats still a high number, however there strikeout an inning rate is going down, and thats a good sign.

Table Setter Watch

Well both Barmes and Sullivan have batting averages over .300 which is a good sign and Barmes is sporting an OBP of .321 and Sullivan has an OBP of .339,  I would like to see these a little higher, but if Sullivan can stay around a .340 OBP and Barmes above .320 we won't be too bad…. I think.

Monforts

The Monforts have been on recored this year saying that if this team is in contention by July they might be buyers on the trade market, and with poker chips such as Shealy, Spilborghs, Closser, and Baker, a question that I would like my readers to ponder is what does this team need to upgrade if they are in the race come July 31?  I hope to, in the up and coming days,  run through position by position, and give my take on each starter, and see if it would be worth our while to upgrade that spot.   Until then…. see you later

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The new Road Warriors – Colorado Rockies

Posted by lodomagic on April 10, 2006

Something amazing has happened, something that hasn't happened in quite some time… the Rockies Swept San Diego – On the road. Yup, that same team, who for years and years, have had the hardest time winning games on the road… swept a team. And it wasn't even close, 10-4 Friday, 12-4 yesterday, and 10-4 today. for a total of 32 runs. Fill in Jason Smith hit 3 homeruns including 2 today, and Eli (I didn't want him on the team) Marrero came up big this series, as did Garret Atkins and Brad Hawpe. Helton continues to recieve the Barry Bonds treatment, but he also continues to be a double's machine.

Top of the Order Watch

Well Sulivan and Barmes had a decent series, so maybe me harping on them earlier was a case of small sample size, however non-the-less, I would still like to track the TOL this year:

 18/56 for a .321 average, however still just 2 walks between the both of them, thats something to watch and be concerned over.  This series, they went 13/31 for a .419 average,  see what happens when we set the table?  We win.

Strikeout watch.

Before this series, the rockies were k-ing at a rate of 1 strikeout per inning, lets see if this trend is holding…

In Fridays game they struck out 10 times, in Saturdays game they struck out 9 times, and in Sunday's game they struck out 11 tims,  thats 30 strike outs, or an average of 10 strikouts a game.  In the 59 innings played so far this season, the Rockies have struck out 59 times, or still 1 an inning,  so this is something to keep our eyes on.  If the Rockies continue to strike out at such a high rate,  we are going to see more games like the ones against the D-Backs, then the ones against the Padres.  

And finally,  Danny (all field no hit) Ardion, got a hit. 

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What the…..

Posted by lodomagic on April 7, 2006

Well, last nights game was ugly.  I didn't get to see it because I had to go to my girlfriends band concernt, but by looking at the box score,  I can tell you that a band concert was much more entertaining then last nights game.  The Rockies lost badly to the Snakes – 12-5.  Watching and looking at the box scores over the past three games, I have noticed a very disturbing stat.  In Wednesdays game, the D-Backs starter Hernandez struck out 8 in 5 innings, and last nights game, Batista struck out 11, in 7 innings.  Put all three games together and the rockies have struck out 29 times in 29 innings, or basically 1 strike out an inning.  If this trend continues, the Rockies have a long season ahead of them.   I don't know what batting coach Duane Espy is telling these guys, but what ever it is,  it's not working.

Also, Francis couldn't follow up the great outings Cook and Jennings had,  in 4.1 innings pitched, he game up 5 runs and while walking 6 batters and hitting anouther batter.  The bullpen didn't do much better, 7 runs, 6 earned, and walking 5.  I would really like to know what Apadaca has told Francis, because I know that this isn't the same kid that was comming up through the system, with great control numbers.  In his minor league career, Francis gave up a total of 82 walks, and struck out 388 in 346 innings,.  His MLB numbers? 89 walks, 163 k's, in 224.2 innings.  I have a hard time, that Francis magically forgot how to throw a strike.

The good news?  Well Holliday finally got a hit, and it was a homerun,  imagine what it would have been like if he came through on Wednesday.  And Helton is still batting .500, and Atkins is starting strong as well.   

The bad news?  Sullivan was 0/3 with 2 k's, and Ardoin still hasn't had a hit yet.  

Top of the order watch.  

5/25 with still 1 walk between the two of them (Barmes and Sullivan)

Today we have Josh Fogg going against the Padres Chris Young, at Petco Park.  I hate to sound not pestamistic, but I wouldn't bet money that the Rockies win today.

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You Can’t Eat Dinner, without setting the table first.

Posted by lodomagic on April 6, 2006

Wel, game 2 of the 2006 season didn't turn out as well as game 1.  Cook started where he left off last year, pitching 7 innings allowing 3 runs and 6 hits, and an impressive 16-3 ground-ball to fly-ball ratio.  

Helton also had a good day going 2-2 with 2 doubles, before seeing the Barry Bonds Treatment.

Other then that however, there was very little offense in the air tonight.   Holliday had 3 k's and went 0-4, Hawpe couldn't add on to his good day yesterday, posting a big 0-4, and well Ardoin might be a great catcher, but I don't think he could hit his way out of a wet paper bag.  More concerning is the 8 k's that Hernandez got tonight.  Lets be honest,  Hernandez isn't that great of a pitcher anymore,  and if a guy who has a hard time topping out at 90 MPH on the radar gun,  gets 8'ks thats not a good sign of things to come.  5 runs in 2 games for a team that plays in a hitters heaven, isn't a good sign.   Lets hope this team can turn it around on the road.

Anouther topic of discussion would be the table setters in the order, that means you, Barmes, and Sullivan.  Combined they are 3 for 17 with 1 walk so far these first two games, and the one walk was nullified by a stupid baserunning error by Sullivan in the bottom of the ninth.  So far this has not been a great model for a dynamic offense, and if the rockies have any hopes of improving their record this year, it starts at the top.  You can't eat dinner without setting the table first. 

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Opening Day Wonders

Posted by lodomagic on April 6, 2006

Well, in 1995, we get Dante Bichette's dramatic 14th inning homerun to win the game. Just last year, we get a walk off homerun from SS Clint Barmes. This year…. well its a ground ball to D-Backs Rookie First Baseman, Coner Jackson, which brings home Matt Holliday for an 11th inning win. Though not as dramatic as a walk off homerun, game 1 of the 2006 season proved to be a great game.

Due to the fact that I had school (and would've had a test in my last class but it was cancelled) I couldn't get tickets to opening day, and had to look at ESPN Gameday during my breaks to find out what was going on. However looking at the box scores, here are the Hero's and Goats of Opening Day.

Heros

Jason Jennings – Jennings, who has been known to struggle in April, had a great start to the 2006 season, pitching 7 strong innings, allowing 6 runs, and 6 Strikeouts to 1 Walk. Jennings has figured out April, and can revert back to his ROY campain, then Rockies fans can look foward to a great season.

The Bullpen – Last years pen after spring training, was a train wreck. This years was effective and held the Snakes to 1 run – unearned. I'm don't expect great things from the soon to be 40 year old Mesa, but its nice to have some Vets to stablize the back of the pen.

Hawpe – He's the only one who seemed to be effective against Webb, knocking in 2 hits and the game winning RBI ground ball

Holliday – 2-5 with the game winning run, thats a good day by me.

Goats

The top of the order – Sullivan and Barmes went 2/10 with 3 strike outs. This tells me that they don't have what it takes to set the table for Helton and Co. If the Rockies are to do anything this year, they need to get at least a .350 OBP from there 1 and 2 hitters.

Tonight we Have Aaron Cook pitching against Orlando Hernandez,  even though we are down by 2 in the first,  I'm picking the Rockies in this one. 

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