State of the position: Two bats and a platoon in the Rockies outfield – Purple Row
The Rockies should feel good about the top four names on the outfield depth chart, but that doesn’t mean there are no questions.
There is a bit more clarity in the outfield heading into 2015 than there was at this time last year. Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer inherited the two corner spots, while four players — Drew Stubbs, Charlie Blackmon, Corey Dickerson, and Brandon Barnes — were in the mix for the center field job. Injuries to both corner outfielders caused the outfield parts to move around quite a bit, but those six players still ended up accounting for over 98 percent of all outfield innings played in 2014. As in 2014, the biggest questions remain injuries and the center field situation.
The Sure Things:
Carlos Gonzalez is a sure thing insofar as he won’t have to compete for a job. One of the many fortunate ripple effects that resulted from Michael Cuddyer’s signing with the New York Mets is that it allows Gonzalez to play in right field, where he’s best suited. If he’s healthy, he’ll be the starting right fielder. The trouble is, CarGo has a hard time staying healthy. A visual representation, courtesy of Baseball Prospectus:
That’s a list that requires two separate screen shots in order to maintain readability — not that it contains joyful reading material. Rockies fans should not necessarily look at Gonzalez’s injury history as prophecy. Innovative thinker Rob Arthur recently suggested that PITCHf/x data can help us predict batter injuries. In fact, it might be a better predictor than only looking at past playing time missed. The idea goes like this: PITCHf/x data bears out what team scouts determine about opposing hitters. Scouts conclude that a given hitter — Carlos Gonzalez, say — is having trouble making quality contact on hittable pitches. Teams then relay this information to their pitchers, who throw more hittable strikes with less fear of a negative outcome. In other words, scouting is ahead of the data, and we actually learn about how players are scouted based on pitch data.
CarGo in 2014 was among the players Arthur identified as pegged for injury by this method. This is comforting information to have, but only because it allows us to emphasize something other than past injury while we cross our fingers and hope for a healthy Carlos Gonzalez. It in no way suggests that Gonzalez will be healthy. But … – Click Here To Visit Article Source