2003 Colorado Rockies Baseball Graphs Review

Following are graphs and commentary regarding the 2003 season of the Colorado Rockies. Questions or comments can be sent to me at dave@baseballgraphs.com.



NL West Standings The National League West Race

The Rockies never really made it into the National League West race. They did manage to remain at .500 ball until early August, when the bottom fell out.

As you'll see in some of the graphs below, the Rockies weren't really this bad; their Pythagorean projection was about five wins higher than their actual performance. This is partly because they were 17-22 in one-run games and 10-18 in two-run games. The Rockies didn't win their share of the close games.

Amazing stat: the Rockies were 2-3 in games in which they scored eleven runs.





Comments How to Read this Graph

If you roll your mouse over this graph, you'll see that the Rockies were in the exact same position as the Cubs (right on the .500 line) at the halfway point of the season. Obviously, things changed the second half of the year. For the Rockies, what changed was the offense, which scored about half a run less per game in the second half of the year vs. the first. Reminder: this graph is adjusted for ballpark effects.
Move your mouse over this graph to view the status of each team at the season's midpoint (July 1st).


Pitching and Fielding

Fielding Independent Pitching is based on the following formula: (13*HR+3*BB-2*K)/IP. Defense Efficiency Ratio is (Non-catcher putouts/Batted Balls in Play), adjusted for ballpark. Circle sizes in this graph are proportional to the percent of fieldable balls successfully converted into outs by the fielders.
The Rockies' Pitching and Fielding

Coors Park makes it hard to assess this team. The Park affects batters, pitchers and fielders to a large degree. This graph attempts to adjust fielding stats for ballpark impact. As you can see, the Rockies were a pretty good fielding team, given their ballpark. I am still working on a ballpark adjustment to FIP.

Here's the strange thing: the Rockies actually had a better pitching record at home than on the road. (ERA of 5.07 vs. 5.31). Their offense maintained its outrageous home/road differential (6.4 runs/game vs. 4.0). As a result, the Rockies were 49-32 at home, and 24-56 on the road.

The Rockies' DER and FIP were both almost exactly the same on the road as at home -- this is a major finding. The Rockies pitchers gave up more home runs at Coors, but they made up for it with more strikeouts and less walks. At the same time, their fielders did a great job turning hit balls into outs at Coors.

How to Read this Graph


Colorado Rockies Ten Game Averages
April May June July Aug Sept
OBP .367 .349 .341 .340 .322 .346
SLG .481 .385 .459 .449 .420 .486
FIP 1.56 1.27 1.69 1.78 1.87 2.68
DER .690 .702 .704 .712 .722 .688
The DER stats in this table are based on limited data; the trend between months per team is more valid than the absolute number.
The Rockies Day-by-Day

You can see that the August freefall was caused by a big decline in runs scored per game (adjusted for ballpark). Much of this is due to the quality of the opposition (Dodgers, Giants, Marlins (the good ones) and the Braves) and ballparks (all of the aforementioned teams, and Shea).

Other than August, the Rockies were a .500 team. Their hitting never rose much above the league average, but their pitching did perform very well at times. In late May and early June, the Rockies' pitchers had their best streak while going fourteen consecutive games against (and at) the Dodgers and Giants and finishing up with the Indians.

The pitching heros of that streak were Jason Jennings, Darren Oliver, Scott Elarton and the rookie Aaron Cook. Shawn Chacon had a very good April for the Rockies, though he eventually went down with a bad elbow. Elarton spent time in the minors and Cook self-destructed.



Colorado Rockies' Win Shares

Player          Team    Pos     Hit     Field   Pitch   Sum     WS	
--------	----	----	-----	-----	-----	-----	---	
T Helton        COL     1B      30.19   3.33    0.00    33.52   34	
P Wilson        COL     OF      16.74   3.18    0.00    19.92   20	
L Walker        COL     OF      15.70   2.02    0.00    17.71   18	
J Payton        COL     OF      12.09   2.68    0.00    14.76   15	
R Belliard      COL     2B      9.12    2.30    0.00    11.42   11	
D Oliver        COL     P       0.39    0.00    9.87    10.26   10	
C Stynes        COL     3B      7.72    2.45    0.00    10.17   10	
C Johnson       COL     C       4.25    5.63    0.00    9.88    10	
B Fuentes       COL     P       0.00    0.00    9.88    9.88    10	
J Uribe         COL     SS      5.17    3.91    0.00    9.08    9	
S Chacon        COL     P       0.00    0.00    8.69    8.69    9	
J Jennings      COL     P       0.00    0.00    8.64    8.64    9	
J Speier        COL     P       0.00    0.00    7.89    7.89    8	
S Reed          COL     P       0.00    0.00    6.80    6.80    7	
J Lopez         COL     P       0.15    0.00    6.47    6.62    7	
J Jimenez       COL     P       0.00    0.00    6.19    6.19    6	
B Estalella     COL     C       1.40    2.59    0.00    3.99    4	
G Norton        COL     3B      3.23    0.47    0.00    3.70    4	
A Cook          COL     P       0.00    0.00    2.76    2.76    3	
J Hernandez     COL     3B      0.22    2.46    0.00    2.68    3	
M Sweeney       COL     OF      2.09    0.17    0.00    2.27    2	
D Stark         COL     P       0.00    0.00    1.56    1.56    2	
G Zaun          COL     C       1.11    0.29    0.00    1.40    1	
C Tsao          COL     P       0.00    0.00    1.40    1.40    1	
K Pellow        COL     C       1.23    0.04    0.00    1.28    1	
A Bernero       COL     P       0.00    0.00    1.21    1.21    1	
C Vance         COL     P       0.07    0.00    0.82    0.89    1	
G Vaughn        COL     OF      0.71    0.15    0.00    0.86    1	
C Barmes        COL     SS      0.29    0.37    0.00    0.66    1	
M Bellhorn      COL     3B      0.00    0.63    0.00    0.63    1	
D Miceli        COL     P       0.00    0.00    0.59    0.59    1	
P Ozuna         COL     2B      0.13    0.37    0.00    0.50    1	
M Miller        COL     P       0.00    0.00    0.49    0.49    1	
T Womack        COL     SS      0.00    0.49    0.00    0.49    0	
B Butler        COL     2B      0.00    0.47    0.00    0.47    0	
J Roa           COL     P       0.00    0.00    0.47    0.47    0	
R Reyes         COL     OF      0.00    0.44    0.00    0.44    0	
M Romero        COL     C       0.38    0.00    0.00    0.38    0	
G Kapler        COL     OF      0.00    0.31    0.00    0.31    0	
N Cruz          COL     P       0.00    0.00    0.30    0.30    0	
V Darensbourg   COL     P       0.00    0.00    0.27    0.27    0	
S Elarton       COL     P       0.00    0.00    0.19    0.19    0	
G Atkins        COL     3B      0.00    0.13    0.00    0.13    0	
J Young         COL     P       0.12    0.00    0.00    0.12    0	
B Petrick       COL     OF      0.00    0.08    0.00    0.08    0	
C Richard       COL     OF      0.00    0.05    0.00    0.05    0	
L Allen         COL     -       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
T Jones         COL     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
D Neagle        COL     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
J Sanchez       COL     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	

The Rockies' Individual Players
Todd Helton had a tremendous year. He was fourth in the league in Win Shares (remember, Win Shares are adjusted for ballpark) and his 33 shares would have been enough to lead the league many years. Preston Wilson received a lot of press with his RBIs, but his OPS away from home was only around .800, and his Win Shares probably reflect his true value to the team.

The Rockies are notable for their lack of Win Shares from their skilled defensive positions. Belliard was tenth at 2b, Uribe was 14th at shortstop and Johnson was 13th at catcher. Stynes was 12th at 3b.

Special mention should be made for Darren Oliver, who had an unlooked-for eleven Win Shares (most among Rockie pitchers). His ERA at home was 4.50 vs. 5.24 away. Weird.

You can view all National League Win Shares data via the following links:
All Players, Top to Bottom
Players Ranked by Position
Players Fielding WS by Position