Rockies’ fans were on a Rocky Mountain high the first month of the season, getting off to a fast start with a 13-4 record. Since that early run, however, they’ve been singing a different tune, as they’ve followed that up with a 15-23 record heading into June.

The Rockies can hit—when you have the likes of Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer—who, despite a stint on the DL—is having a nice start to his season—you’re going to score runs. The Rockies are leaving a lot of guys stranded; and while that’s a product of getting a lot of guys on base to begin with, it’s still making Rockies’ fans nervous, as their run production has been dropping of late.

The Reds aren’t the only team with a #2 hole lineup controversy.  Colorado has put several players there, with no real resolution. Dante Bichette, the Rock’s hitting coach had some interesting things to say about the subject:

“It’s one of those interesting spots in the lineup, because there are so many views on what makes a good two-hole hitter,” Bichette said. “There are guys that think speed. A lot of guys say on-base percentage. A lot of guys feel like a high-strikeout guy is good for second, because there are not a lot of double plays, and a lot of guys feel the opposite, that they need a contact hitter.”

Here are the 2013 rankings thus far for the Rockies’ offense:



Manager Walt Weiss likes to sit the aging Todd Helton against lefties, so expect to see a lot of Helton in this series.

D Fowler CF .292 10 24 .397 .495 .892
D LeMahieu 2B .264 0 4 .339 .321 .660
C Gonzalez LF .305 14 36 .385 .592 .977
T Tulowitzki SS .339 12 43 .404 .612 1.016
M Cuddyer RF .346 10 36 .406 .628 1.034
T Helton 1B .231 5 20 .305 .404 .709
N Arenado 3B .228 4 12 .269 .386 .654
Y Torrealba C .271 0 6 .386 .305 .691


Here are the 2013 rankings thus far for the Rockies’ pitching:


Tyler Chatwood began the season in the minors, has been a pleasant surprise—and now he’s an important part of the rotation for the Rockies.

The Bullpen
A groin injury has landed Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt on the DL over the weekend. The Rockies will hand over the mythical closer duties to Rex Brothers, a lefty who has amassed 23 straight scoreless appearances over 21 1/3 innings. Manny Corpas is being brought up from AAA Colorado Springs to fill out the pen. Corpas was 0-2 with a 5.01 ERA in 48 appearances with the Cubs last year. Wilton Lopez, Matt Belisle, Adam Ottavino, Rob Scahill, Edgmer Escalona and Josh Outman round out the pen.

I will be especially interested in seeing Ottavino during this series for personal reasons. Adam played in the very same Brooklyn little league (78th Youth Sports) I once coached my son. Adam’s father, John, was quite a teacher and coach. He must be beaming.


Wednesday’s matchup should be a decided mismatch in favor of the Reds (at least on paper) as Cueto goes against the Rockies #5 starter, Jon Garland. Your starting pitchers for the series:

Monday 7:10
Bronson Arroyo, RHP 5 5 3.75 72.0 13 41 1.17
Tyler Chatwood, RHP 3 0 2.12 29.2 9 26 1.28
Tuesday 7:10
Homer Bailey, RHP 3 4 3.84 68.0 19 68 1.19
Juan Nicasio, RHP 4 2 4.79 56.1 22 37 1.40
Wednesday 7:10
Johnny Cueto, RHP 3 0 2.17 37.1 13 34 0.88
Jon Garland, RHP 3 6 5.81 62.0 22 29 1.66



Join the conversation! 30 Comments

  1. I believe “Good Bronson” is slated to appear tonight. Good news for the Reds. Keep Tulo in the park please.

  2. Three RHP on tap…time for Choo & Bruce to make some hay and three starts coming up for XP, leaving Robinson available for pinch hitting/double switch opportunities. Maybe a start or two at 1B for Hannahan with XP hitting in the #5 hole?

  3. Tonight’s lineup. Crossing the streams again.

    1. Shin-Soo Choo (L) CF
    2. Zack Cozart (R) SS
    3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
    4. Jay Bruce (L) RF
    5. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
    6. Xavier Paul (L) LF
    7. Ryan Hanigan (R) C
    8. Cesar Izturis (S) 2B
    9. Bronson Arroyo (R) P

  4. I saw where Alex (I hate this game so I never smile) Gonzalez was released by Milwaukee. Would he be a better option than Izturis?

    Last year he hit .259/.326/.457.

    This year he has “hit” .177/.203/.230 compared to Izturis’ line of .161/.242/.179.

    • @RedForever: Yes, yes. Unless he’s hurt. I mean, look at their career numbers. Gonzalez isn’t anything special, but he’s not Izturis.

  5. The Reds offense not inconsistent?? Over the last 10 games: 6-4 W-L record, played 88 innings. Vs. Pitt, Clev, and ChiC. Other than Pitt, not overpowering pitching teams.

    Innings with 0 runs scored = 67. 76.1%
    Innings with 1 run scored = 11. 12.5%
    Innings with 2 runs scored = 4.
    Innings with 3 runs scored = 1.
    Innings with 4 runs scored = 4.
    Innings with 5 runs scored = 1.
    Innings with 6+ runs scored= 0.

    % of innings with 1 or 0 runs scored == 88.6%.
    This is not good.
    That shouldn’t happen with this team against those teams.
    I know some will bring out the 1st in NL in runs scored. Yes, for now, but actually only 7th in MLB. That doesn’t bode well for October.

    • @WVRedlegs: It’s not about being first in runs scored, it’s how you’re looking at it: I just flat disagree with the premise that what inning they score their runs is a good measure of consistency. Doesn’t it stand to reason that runs tend to come in bunches because multiple hits tend to lead to multiple runs? But even if you want to look at it your way… like I said earlier, look at their whole season stats for scoring by inning, and only the 5th inning is an outlier of sorts.

      But to me, and maybe I’m wrong, it’s about how many runs they score and how often they do that… not what time of game.

    • @WVRedlegs: The last 10 games they have scored: 7, 5, 4, 4, 8, 2, 1, 6, 2, and 4 runs respectively. 3 games of 2-runs or less isn’t great but terribly unusual. You’re saying that from inning to inning they have been inconsistent but it’s hard to say how unusual that is in comparison to the rest of the teams in the NL. I’ve recently done a study on their “famine” games of 2-runs or less since 2011 and found they were pretty much in line with a good offense compared to the rest of the NL. I suppose I could figure out a way to do a similar study with a similar breakdown as how you have it above but I’d think that runs per game would be a better indication of offensive consistency over the course of a season or multiple seasons.

    • @WVRedlegs: So over the last 10 games:

      8,6,7,5,4,4,4,2,2,1,runs scored (out of order, just how I group it)… which averages out to 4.3 R/G which is smack on the NL Avg, and just a tick below what they’ve been running at for the season. Pretty good. That’s how offense goes.

    • @WVRedlegs: Without some idea of what “normal” is, your data doesn’t tell any story.

  6. Dante Bichette is a hitting coach? Wow. Interesting.

    I wonder if Marty is still slobbering over him like he did when he put up subpar numbers as a Rockie for a corner OF, yet the numbers looked good because he played in Colorado.

  7. Total Runs by Inning (1-9) according to B-R:
    1st: 31
    2nd: 30
    3rd: 27
    4th: 40
    5th: 13
    6th: 27
    7th: 34
    8th: 30
    9th: 28 (which is interesting, because you’d there there’s less opportunity there given winning home games)

  8. For some reason I feel the Reds should handle the Rockies in this series. But, then, there’s the Cards, and Cueto and Bailey are not pitching vs them. That cannot happen again. They need to plan ahead for the next series.

  9. Frazier came out of his slump? Call Marty, stat! (“He may never come out of this slump…”)

  10. I cannot get it out of my head that the Reds have a player who is slugging .179.

  11. Can Hanahan not play 2nd? I would rather see Paul try than Izturis out there. I guess Dusty wants him to “get going” against probably one of the better pitchers for the Rocks. Sigh!!!

  12. Over the last 10 games, each team in the NL scored 2 runs or less the following number of times:

    Pirates: 5
    Mets: 5
    Braves: 4
    Giants: 4
    Nationals: 3
    Phillies: 3
    Marlins: 3
    REDS: 3
    Brewers: 3
    Padres: 3
    Cubs: 2
    Cardinals: 2
    Diamondbacks: 2
    Rockies: 2
    Dodgers: 2

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2013 Reds, Series Preview