The Rockies need to acquire some help offensively

DENVER, CO - JUNE 20: Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies hits a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field on June 20, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JUNE 20: Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies hits a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field on June 20, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Ian Desmond
If the Rockies acquire an outfielder at the trade deadline, Ian Desmond could see himself coming off the bench a lot more frequently. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Believe it or not, the Rockies offense has been anemic in 2017.

The Rockies, surprisingly, have struggled offensively in the 2017 season. They are fifth in runs in all of baseball (451), 17th in doubles (149), 20th in homers (109), third in batting average (.269), 13th in on-base percentage (.327), and 12th in slugging percentage (.430). However, with the Coors Field effect (by being the best hitter’s park in all of baseball due to the elevation), the Rockies numbers should be higher. Their OPS+ (which is adjusted to the ballparks played in) is 85, or 15% below league average. That is 25th in all of baseball. The only teams who are worse are the Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, and San Diego Padres, none of whom have a record better than Pittsburgh’s 41-47 entering Sunday’s action.

Individual offense

The Rockies have only had five players who’s OPS+ is above league average. They are Charlie Blackmon (129), Nolan Arenado (119), Mark Reynolds (116), Gerardo Parra (105), and Raimel Tapia (105). Even players like D.J. LeMahieu and Ian Desmond, who are hitting .309 and .283, respectively, have OPS+ numbers that are low (87 and 74) because their low slugging percentages (as they have a combined 20 doubles and nine homers).

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Comparing 2017 to other Rockies seasons

In 2016, the team’s OPS+ was 97, still below league average, even after leading the NL in runs, hits, doubles, batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS (not OPS+). The team was second in the NL in on-base percentage, and third in triples and homers. In fact, the last time that the Rockies had an OPS+ over 100 was in 2014 when it was 102. Even the 2007 National League Champion Rockies did not have an OPS+ over 100 as it was 98. However, they had three players (Matt Holliday, Brad Hawpe, and Todd Helton) that had OPS+ of 130 or higher.

Possible Trade Deadline Acquisitions

There are a few players that the Rockies might be interested in the trade deadline to help their offense woes. One is the Detroit Tigers rental outfielder J.D. Martinez. In only 52 games (he was out with a foot injury that put him on the DL to start the season), he’s had 54 hits, 12 doubles, 14 HRs, 32 RBIs, a .297/.381/.615 slash line, and an OPS+ of 161. Especially considering that half of his games are played at Comerica Park in Detroit, which is a cavernous park, those are very impressive numbers. He is only signed through the end of the season.

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Zack Cozart could be another possible acquisition for the Rockies as he has a 143 OPS+ with half of his games being played at Great American Ballpark, which is probably the second most hitter friendly ballpark in baseball (only second to Coors Field). He has 18 doubles, 6 triples, 9 HRs, 35 RBIs, and a slash line of .318/.394/.547. He would also only be a rental (as long as the Rockies wouldn’t resign him) as he is only signed through the end of the season.

Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates would also be another option as he has played in 85 games, entering Sunday, and has 92 hits, 19 doubles, 16 HRs, 49 RBIs, a slash line of .295/.380/.522, and an OPS+ of 134. He is technically only signed through this season but he does have a team option, for $14.75 million, for the 2018 season.

There are a few other players that would be longer term options like Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich (both of which were discussed in this article from Thursday).

Next: An interesting ending to Saturday's Rockies game

Final Thoughts

It’s been rather surprising that the Rockies offense has struggled as much as it has this season. Usually, players, like Carlos Gonzalez and Ian Desmond, are producing more than they are. I expect them to make some moves at the trade deadline, whether it be through one of the players mentioned or somebody else, to address this.