Provenzano: The Rockies finally have their pitching trio

From SABR member Matt Provenzano at Beyond the Box Score on September 5, 2018:

I very rarely make any public outings as a Baseball Blogger, mostly because the amount of time it takes to write and do my daily work and life is too consuming to then add actual trips to it. But I was lucky enough to do that when I did have time, namely the 2014 SABR Analytics Conference.

In one of the panels, I remember in attendance was Bill Geivett, the then-assistant general manager under Dan O’Dowd. The Rockies had some interesting prospects then—I was even lucky enough to catch Jon Gray face Athletic Yoenis Cespedes that very trip—but this was an organization known to have issues with pitching and dealing with Coors Field.

Geivett was asked after his panel whether they were going to change their pitching philosophy of targeting and developing groundball pitchers, largely because the evidence shows that those kind of pitchers tend to be worse than you’d expect. His response was that they would still pursue those pitchers, regardless of what people thought, largely because their internal processes were so wrapped up in that.

That’s not to knock Geivett, of course, as a person; anyone who has played baseball possesses physical knowledge that I could never dream to have. Yet he and O’Dowd were succeeded by Jeff Bridich, who wanted to flip the script from when, during Geivett’s tenure, the Rockies “posted the fourth-highest ground-ball rate (48.4 percent), but they also recorded the second-worst strikeout rate (15.7 percent) and the highest walk rate (8.6 percent).”

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Originally published: September 7, 2018. Last Updated: September 7, 2018.