|Rocky Mountain High|
|Masters of the NFBC|
|Written by Greg Morgan|
|Tuesday, 22 May 2012 08:48|
In the inaugural NFBC season in 2004 it seemed so easy. Target a couple of aging veteran sluggers moving to Colorado, such as Jeremy Burnitz and Vinny Castilla, in the late rounds and hammer pitching early. Unfortunately the implementation and evolution of the mysterious humidor the last decade has all but eliminated this Coors Field magic elixir from draft day strategy. It’s still a hitter’s park, but merely e pluribus Unum.
Twenty games into the Rockies home schedule it seemed to me there had been a lot of scoring in Denver so I tabulated some numbers (thru Thursday’s games):
When the visiting team starts a right-handed pitcher, Colorado scores 7.7 runs per game. However, when a southpaw takes the mound that figure drops to 5 runs per game. Combined the 6.5 clip is the highest rate since 2001, supposedly the last of the pre-humidor years. The information in the public domain surrounding the humidor has so much myth and legend mixed in with fact it’s hard to discern anything with certainty other than the numbers filling the box score. Tim Lincecum created a stir in September of 2010 when he threw a ball back because he thought it was juiced. I’ve seen the clip in which he tossed the baseball back to the umpire, requested a different one, and then muttered ‘****ing juiced balls….’. Certainly a pitcher can tell if there’s something up with a ball as he can feel if it has been dried out, rubbed down, etc. Timmy isn’t the only one to make this complaint over the years. I’ve heard stories that they run out of humidor balls on occasion. I’ve heard tales that some balls are more ‘water-logged’ than others. All that I can surmise with certitude is that scoring is up the first quarter and if I wait for the sample size to become ‘significant’ it will be too late to use that knowledge for the 2012 fantasy season.
Chris Nelson was placed on the 15 day disabled list on Wednesday. Jordan Pacheco has been the prime beneficiary and has started six straight games at third base. He is also capable of filling in at first base, second base, or donning the tools of ignorance in a pinch. In 65 home AB’s over the 2011-12 seasons he’s posted solid rate stats (.290/7/3/13). With NFBC’s midweek moves, Pacheco is a useful bench bat/spot play with upside. Tyler Colvin has been getting more AB’s in The Rockies outfield and at first base to give Todd Helton a breather. The former 1st rounder has been productive at home (.333/6/2/9) in just 36 AB’s. On the flip side, both Todd Helton (.186/.314/.372:road) and Dexter Fowler (.189/.268/.270:road) have struggled to hit whenever they leave Blake Street. I’d bench them during away games.
This week it will be interesting to see how the AB’s are distributed in Miami with Emilio Bonifacio hitting the DL and Gaby Sanchez optioned to AAA. Chris Coghlan was called up and got the start in left field on Sunday as Ozzie Guillen moved Logan Morrison to first base. Bryan Petersen will probably continue to get the starts in center field, but I’m interested to see if Austin Kearns gets a chance. I’m not a believer in Coghlan. Kearns is streaky. If you’re looking for lightning in a bottle Austin might be your huckleberry.