I'm lost without my BtB Power Rankings for this week (Dan Scotto, come back from vacation!) but I'm assuming Colorado retained the last spot, especially with Kansas City's surge since Buddy Bell took over as manager. I have a serious interest in what Colorado needs to do to field a successful ball club. Let's start with an easy problem, the home and away lineup success:
Home 2005: .308/.369/.479
Away 2005: .228/.291/.347
Honestly now...I didn't even know that was going to happen that bad. There has always been a split, but we're talking the difference between a pretty good ballplayer and a replacement level player this year. The problem is they do not have talented hitters, and the youth movement they are touting is not full of talented hitters either. I hate to say it Rox fans, but Clint Barmes is not the answer.
Colorado's home record is 17-17, while their road record is 5-26. Their team ERA:
The starters have a 5.50 ERA, and the relievers have a 5.93. Therein lies the issue. The Rockies can have a rotation with an ERA over 5.00; they just need pitchers who can stop the bleeding and let the lineup get/stay ahead. As many people have said before me, this team needs to score 1,150-1,200 runs to be a winning team. They can't just score 800 of those runs at home though! The Rockies have never led the league in runs scored. Not once, even in 1995. The bullpen was the answer that year, with four pitchers (Steve Reed, Bruce Ruffin, Curtis Leskanic, and Darren Holmes) combined for a 2.83 ERA in 283 IP. The next year that groups ERA jumped to 4.54 in roughly the same number of innings pitched. 4.54 sounds like a godsend compared to what it is now though (thanks to Rob Neyer's Big Book Of Baseball Lineups for that information; if you don't own it, you should)
The keys to this team winning are hitting, bullpen pitching, and defense. I think if Jesus wanted to pitch for the Rockies he'd have an ERA of atleast 4.75 as a starter, and I heard he has a nasty changeup. This is not so much an article for me to say what I think will fix Colorado, it is more me stating the current condition of the franchise and saying generally what needs to be improved. If anyone wants to know my exact thoughts you can ask in the comments section, because I do have a laid out plan (including who to sign and trade for while spending within a budget) to help this team succeed. It will take a lot of hard work for the Rockies to get up and running and competitive, but when they finally do, watch out pitchers everywhere.