Rockies rookie third baseman Nolan Arenado had four hits and scored three runs Wednesday night.  However, his achievement – noteworthy any other time it would have occurred – became barely a footnote.  Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki had five hits, including two home runs.  Carlos Gonzalez had only three hit – but all of them were home runs as he drove in six runs.

Troy Tulowitzki

Troy Tulowitzki (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Rockies hitters are often perceived as paper champions, since they play half their games in Coors Field.  However, Gonzalez is actually posting better numbers at home than on the road this year.  Tulowitzki is hitting better at home (he has a robust .404 batting average at home), his road OPS is .974.  If you completely threw away his home stats and just used his road stats (and bear in mind that most hitters perform somewhat better at home), he would still rank sixth in MLB in OPS (his overall OPS has him third, behind Chris Davis and Miguel Cabrera).  Remember that this is a guy who plays a premium defensive position and plays it well.  There are only two shortstops who rank in the top 36 in OPS (Jean Segura is the other).

 

Manager Walt Weiss has been giving Tulo periodic days off, in hopes that it will stave off injuries that have befallen him in the past.  I’ll happily sacrifice and extra half dozen of so off days if it keeps him healthy.

Do you feel a draft?

Major League baseball’s draft begins tonight.  The two top pitchers in this year’s class are Mark Appel (a pell) and Jonathan Gray.  Earlier this week, Gray made news by testing positive for Adderall, a drug for which he does not have a prescription.  Adderall is a substance that is banned by MLB unless a player has an exemption.  Since the positive test came before Gray was drafted, he won’t face a suspension.  However, many wonder how this will affect his draft stock.

Some people have suggested that it may be MORE likely that the Astros will take him #1 overall.  Why?  Because he may now command less money, leaving more money from their draft pool to sign later picks.  Just a thought, but if a positive drug test enhances a player’s draft stock, maybe this isn’t a good thing?  I don’t blame the Astros – it’s baseball hard slotting system that is forcing these types of decisions.  The interesting thing is that the amount of money a team saves is probably less than the money the Dodgers are paying Andruw Jones not to play for them ($3.2 million) or what the Royals are paying journeyman Bruce Chen ($4.5 million) to play for them.  They may save a few bucks on the front end, but are they chasing talented athletes away to other sports?

Other notes

  • After a pedestrian April, Mike Trout his .327 with 8 homers and 8 steals in May.
  • Remember Justin Upton?  After 12 dingers in April, he had two in May en route to a dismal .654 OPS (compared to 1.136 in April).  So don’t engrave that MVP trophy quite yet.
  • Domonic Brown has long been an enigma for Phillies fans who were frustrated as his inability to reach his potential.  After a blah April, he hit 12 homers in May.  Oddly, he walked zero times (compared to 9 walks in April) and became the first player in history to hit ten homers and have zero walks in the same month.
  • The third best winning percentage in the American League, behind Boston and Texas, belongs to the Oakland A’s.
  • The Astros are 8-2 in their last ten games and are six games better than MLB-worst Miami.  They won’t be confused with a playoff contender anytime soon, but they have a shot to not be a laughingstock.  Kudos to manager Bo Porter and his guys.
  • Miami is on pace for 43 wins.  As we inch closer to the midway point in the season, they may actually be a credible threat to the 1962 Mets record of just 40 wins in a 162 game season (the Mets were 40-120, with two games rained out).
  • Atlanta has a 7.5 game lead in the NL East, by far the largest in baseball.  Nobody else has a lead of greater than 2.5 games.  Despite all their woes, the second place team in the NL East is the Phillies (thanks, Domonic Brown).

 

 

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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