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The Rockies offense will be exactly what you think it will be

Jake Shapiro Avatar
February 14, 2018

“You just know they’ll hit.”

That’s what they say about the National League’s four straight years run-leading offense.

They’re right.

“They need a bat, and their offense isn’t very good.”

That’s what they say about the same offense if you park adjust the numbers to find that they were clearly the worst lineup to finish above .500 in 2017, let alone make the postseason.

They’re right.

That’s a humorously big gap in both stat and thought. And both sides are right, or at least prove themselves to be with the data.

What’s it that they say? It’s all about perspective.

The Colorado Rockies offense is a conundrum and I’m not sure anyone can convince you they’re good or bad if you believe the opposite.

I won’t either because it might not matter.

The 2018 incarnation of the Rockies will not be bound by the destiny of their offense. It may help or hurt them along the way but it will largely be a wash.

Colorado is all about run prevention now. The switch occurred quietly in 2016 and thrived in 2017.

That massive change is the game-plan to sustain a contention window, for the first in franchise history.

As much fun as it is to draw up the names Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu and place them on a lineup, it’s more important for the Rockies to get success from Jon Gray, Wade Davis, and Kyle Freeland.

Almost a year ago Yahoo wrote a story titled “Meet the guy with the worst job in sports.” It was about Rockies pitching coach Steve Foster.

Foster’s most striking quote from the feature was this, “We’re not pitching on the moon, we’re pitching at Coors Field.”

It’s that viewpoint which has persisted since early into Jeff Bridich’s tenure.

“The guys who think about pitching at Coors Field are the ones who are going to find trouble,” Rockies farm director Zach Wilson said in 2015. “The guys who go into it with a sense of no fear and knowing they have the stuff and the mindset to compete, they do just fine…  I think it’s about a mindset. It’s not about how the ball plays or anything like that.”

Foster a few years later kept that line, “Altitude matters, but attitude matters more. That’s the message that I hope to convey.”

To boot, Colorado went out and hired a manager known for pitching and his ability to be astute in run prevention, doubling down on their strategy.

It’s clear what the Rockies were doing this offseason when they signed Bryan Shaw, Chris Iannetta and rebuilt their bullpen. They were sticking to their plan, one they’ve had the foresight to have in place since late 2014.

Criticize them for their procedure all you’d like but the execution has been near flawless. This plan has developed in process and progress while advancing the organization. The Rockies have a legitimate ball club built on this—pitching and defense—as most good teams are.

It doesn’t matter what you think about the Colorado Rockies offense.

It might not matter if the Colorado Rockies offense is within the top half of baseball.

When I say, the Rockies offense will be exactly what you think it will be, I mean that it will be second or even third fiddle.

You just know this team will pitch and defend; they’ve been systematically designed for it.


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