Mains: Bullpens to the fore

From SABR member Rob Mains at Baseball Prospectus on April 25, 2019:

Remember the 2012 Rockies? I didn’t think so. They weren’t much of a team. They were last in the NL West, 64-98, 30 games behind the Giants. Only the Cubs and Astros had a worse record in the National League. Their best hitter was Carlos Gonzalez, whose Coors-inflated .303/.371/.510 translated into a good but not great 114 DRC+.

The pitching, even for a Rockies team, was pretty atrocious. Only Jeff Francis had a positive WARP among starters, if you want to call 0.04 positive. He led the club in innings with just 113. That was the year Colorado experimented with a four-man rotation, limiting the quartet of Francis, Tyler Chatwood, Drew Pomeranz, and Alex White to 75 pitches per start. That 64-98 record should tell you how well it went.

Rockies starters pitched only 765 innings that year, an average of 4.7 per outing. They were the first team ever whose pitchers averaged fewer than five innings per start. They shattered the record for fewest starter innings, 832, set by the Rangers nine years earlier.

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Originally published: April 25, 2019. Last Updated: April 25, 2019.