Colorado Rockies: A baseball record that isn’t good

DENVER, CO - APRIL 7: Anibal Sanchez of the Atlanta Braves throws a pitch to Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado. Getty Images.
DENVER, CO - APRIL 7: Anibal Sanchez of the Atlanta Braves throws a pitch to Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado. Getty Images. /

The Colorado Rockies, entering Sunday, are a part of a major league record that is both alarming and a sign of the times in the baseball world.

The strikeout rate in baseball is at a all-time high. Entering Sunday, the Colorado Rockies, have struck out an alarming 246 times, which is fourth worst in all of baseball. But, the Colorado Rockies are only one of 30 teams in the sport and all 30 teams have a part in this record.

The month of April will be the first month in Major League Baseball’s 115 year history (and the 141 year history of playing the sport) that there will be more strikeouts than total hits. Entering Sunday, it wasn’t even really that close as there were 6,265 hits compared to 6,635 strikeouts. That’s an average of 8.33 hits per game per team compared to 8.82 strikeouts.

Of the 30 MLB teams, there are only ten teams that don’t have more strikeouts than hits. They are the Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Rays, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, Detroit Tigers, and Kansas City Royals.

For comparison, the Colorado Rockies entered Sunday with 204 hits and 246 strikeouts, or an average of 7.55 hits per game compared to 9.11 strikeouts per game. Obviously, the hit number is lower than league average and the strikeouts are higher than league average. This also shows why the team has struggled a bit out of the gate.

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Just looking offensively, the Rockies have an offensive slash line of .231/.306/.393. In the National League, that is 12th, 12th, and 6th. Their OPS+ is also second worst in the National League as well as second worst in the major leagues, as it is currently 81, or 19 percent below league average. The only team that is worse is the team that they are playing today: the Miami Marlins.

The Rockies only have five position players that are above league average in OPS+ and most of them are probably guys you would expect (Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, DJ LeMahieu, and Charlie Blackmon). However, David Dahl is also in this and the Rockies also have two pitchers in this category too. In fact, German Marquez is actually leading the team in OPS+ since he is 4-for-7 on the season, so his OPS+ is 200. Antonio Senzatela is also above league average at 153.

The reason why their team OPS+ is so low is the other guys. Ian Desmond’s is at 40, Chris Iannetta is a 73, Gerardo Parra is at 63, Carlos Gonzalez is at 77 (and he’s on the DL). For the bench, Ryan McMahon is at 44, Pat Valaika is at -29, Tony Wolters is at 15, Mike Tauchman was at -45 before being sent back to Triple-A Albuquerque, and Noel Cuevas is at 39.

Once the weather starts to warm up, the Rockies offense will too but there’s a reason why we have discussed this in so many different articles for nearly two years now: the Rockies offense, outside of Arenado, Story, LeMahieu, and Blackmon (for everyday players), is simply not good. You can argue on whether or not they have lived up to their expectations or just simply do not possess great offensive tools, but it can’t be argued that their approach has to change some in the short term, like many other teams, by cutting down on their swing and change their approach depending the situation and count.

Next: Rockies hitting coach Duane Espy recently spoke on the Rockies offensive struggles

That will help the Rockies (and the other teams) reverse something that has never been seen in baseball history.