HomeTeamsRockiesRockies Batting Gets Runners on Base, Does Not Bring Runners Home

Rockies Batting Gets Runners on Base, Does Not Bring Runners Home

The 13 batters on the Colorado Rockies active roster are getting on base, but that is turning out to not be the magic Moneyball-type solution to winning games that the fans may be hoping for. Stranding runs on the bags is disappointing, but what are the possibilities if Colorado’s batters keep performing the way they are performing in the order they are performing it?

Getting on base is an interesting statistic because it highlights opportunities teams have to achieve runs. Right now, the Rockies are sitting at 15th in Major League Baseball for on-base percentage with a .315 team average. The Atlanta Braves are currently MLB’s leader with an .364 OBP and they lead in the National League East. To put that in a more direct relation to the Rockies and the National League West, the Los Angeles Dodgers are currently the leaders in NLW, and second in MLB overall, with .354 OBP.  Of the 13 active roster batters on the Rockies, there are five hitters with OBPs above the league leaders: Jacob Stallings (C) .462 OBP, Ryan McMahon (3B) .464 OBP, Ezequiel Tovar (SS) .396 OBP, Charlie Blackmon (DH) .396 OBP, and Jake Cave (RF) .385 OBP. These are five players that could potentially be in the batting lineup together getting on base and creating opportunities for runs. These numbers are probably why the Rockies keep consistently ending innings with runners on.

Everybody loves seeing grand slam walk-off homers like McMahon’s against the Tampa Bay Rays, but homers are currently not a dependable option for converting base runners into runs scored for the Rockies. Michael Toglia is currently leading the Rockies with 3 HR, while Brenton Doyle, Ezequiel Tovar, and McMahon are all tied at 2 HR a piece. Kris Bryant, Elias Diaz, and Blackmon all have drove one over the wall as well. However, Bryant’s got 15 strike outs after 40 AB so maybe he should stop swinging for the fence and focus more on RBIs through doubles and triples since he is currently the Rockies cleanup batter.

The surprising fact is that the Rockies are tied for the lead across the MLB for triples right now. This could point to a potential way of scoring runs that would benefit from moving Blackmon to the cleanup spot and putting Bryant in the leadoff position. Blackmon is hot right now at the plate, but his legs are old, and it is unfair to expect him to steal his way around the bases to get into scoring position. It could be better to use his veteran stick to drive in runs from second and third. Blackmon, Diaz, and Toglia are all tied for RBIs behind McMahon’s lead, and these are also four batters that could be on the field at once. Tovar and Doyle are leading the team in doubles, which with some shuffling to the expected lineup, could increase either their scoring potential or RBI potential.

The current lineup order seemed to make sense at the start of the season, but after a couple weeks it looks like the potential is being misplaced. Runners are consistently being left stranded, so something needs to be adjusted to stop wasting this scoring potential. Blackmon is doing more than just getting on base, so it seems like his contribution is being squandered at leadoff. Moving him back in the order could give the Rockies a tool to more consistently respond to those first-inning runs they have struggled to answer so far this season.


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