Dinger’s Dunces

If there was ever a sport in which using your intelligence (or lack thereof) affected the outcome of a game, baseball would be it. One way to win games is just to have everybody healthy. This is a cerebral effect because, for the most part, you can keep yourself in shape and well by just taking care of yourself. Some baseball players just haven’t quite mastered that throughout the years.

“Dinger’s Dunces” will rank three of the dumbest injuries that have happened out of sheer stupidity in recent memory. Without further ado, let’s get after it.

3. Bret Barberie

Barberie was known more for his marriage choice rather than his playing skills. Barberie played for four clubs in six years, hitting .271 in his short career. Though his career ended with a .071 batting average for the Cubs back in 1996, he was able to snag Fox NFL Sunday’s Jillian Reynolds.

Though he may have been a rising star on the field, Bret Barberie wasn't in the kitchen. (Trading Card Database)

Though he may have been a rising star on the field, Bret Barberie wasn’t one in the kitchen. (Trading Card Database)

While a member of the Marlins (1993-94), Barberie was cooking a meal before a game and accidently rubbed his eye after cooking with chilli peppers. After washing his eyes out, Barberie ripped his contact and couldn’t see. The burn didn’t let up as Barberie sat out of the lineup that evening.

He would later divorce Jillian and flame out of the majors. Poor Bret. He puts the “fun” in dysfunctional.

2. Marty Cordova

Cordova won the 1995 AL Rookie of the Year as a member of the Minnesota Twins, where he had 24 home runs and swiped 20 bags. He enjoyed a pretty decent career, finishing with 122 homers, 540 RBI and a .274 batting average.

What brought Cordova to fame was a self-induced injury when we was a member of the Baltimore Orioles (2002-03).

Cordova wasn’t in to the spray-tanning phenomenon and didn’t think he got enough rays during the season. Cordova decided to go tanning before a game and fell asleep on the tanning bed. What woke him up was the sound of his face grilling. He would have to miss the next few games while he recovered from a facial burn.

But, man was he tan!

1. Adam Eaton

Settle down, Diamondbacks fans. Not your Adam Eaton, but this Adam Eaton.

Eaton was a former first-round selection of the Phillies back in 1996. He made it to the majors in 2000 and finished his career with the Rockies in 2009. He won 71 games and never had an ERA below 4.00, playing for five different organizations.

Adam Eaton is unfortunately known more by his injury than his performance. (Yardbarker)

Adam Eaton is unfortunately known more by his injury than his performance. (Yardbarker)

What made Eaton famous was a blunder that happened during his tenure with the Padres. He was trying to open a DVD case with a paring knife and ended up stabbing himself in the stomach. He later went to the emergency room and made a full recovery.

Eaton’s “horror film” does have my backing. Those cases are hard to open!

Baseball is considered by many as a game of chess. Let’s hope these three aren’t playing against Bobby Fischer anytime soon.

Advertisements

Video: Butler gets the call

Despite an abysmal performance by the Rockies against the Diamondbacks on June 3, this was a night dedicated to one of Colorado’s top prospects – Eddie Butler. Butler will make his first start in the majors on Friday against the Dodgers. The wait is now over!

Triple Play: A look into the upcoming series versus the Diamondbacks

The Rockies returned home Monday to begin a 10-game homestand against the Diamondbacks (June 3-5), Dodgers (June 6-8) and Braves (June 9-12). After getting swept by Cleveland, Colorado drug its feet back to Coors Field after going 2-7 on the nine-game roadtrip. June will be a telling month for any postseason hopes. It all starts with the Diamondbacks.

Here are three things that I would like to see in the series against Arizona:

1. Quality outings from the starters.

Jorge De La Rosa, Jordan Lyles and Juan Nicasio will toe the rubber against the Diamondbacks. De La Rosa (six), Lyles (seven) and Nicasio (five) are the top three pitchers for the Rockies, in terms of quality starts.

Jorge De La Rosa, Jordan Lyles and Juan Nicasio have combined for 16 of Colorado's 28 wins. (Creative Commons/Denver Post/Creative Commons)

Jorge De La Rosa, Jordan Lyles and Juan Nicasio have combined for 16 of Colorado’s 28 wins. (Creative Commons/Denver Post/Creative Commons)

De La Rosa has dominated Arizona throughout his career. In 21 starts, the southpaw has held the Diamondbacks to a .233 batting average, .301 on-base percentage and has amassed 86 strikeouts. De La Rosa is on a hot streak, picking up six wins in his last seven starts.

Lyles has been a jerk to opposing batters this season. He has relied heavily on the two-seam fastball, throwing it 40 percent of the time. Using a fastball with movement causes the ball to sink as is evident with Lyles inducing 104 ground balls, nine of which were turned for double plays. Arizona has grounded into 40 double plays thus far into 2014, so this should be a dream matchup for Lyles.

Nicasio enters the series after a largely successful month of May. The 27-year-old picked up four wins with three coming at Coors Field. What has helped Nicasio is the run support he has gotten from his teammates. The Rockies scored 33 runs in Nicasio’s six starts last month. He leads the majors with an average of 6.36 runs of support per start. Look for a lit-up scoreboard in the final game of the series.

2. Troy Tulowitzki to break out from his recent slump.

Since appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated, Tulowitzki is 1-for-16 with six strikeouts. He couldn’t get back to Coors Field fast enough on Monday. Tulowitzki is hitting .521 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in just 21 homes games this season. Granted, he may be getting help from his buddy, Dinger.

Like he has to most teams, Tulowitzki has torched the Diamondbacks this year. In 15 plate appearances, the MVP candidate has collected eight hits including two home runs and six RBI. He has also shown good discipline drawing six walks against the NL West rivals.

3. Three wins for Colorado.

I’m not asking for a lot. The horrible road trip is over, so it is time for the Rockies to get back to their winning ways. The Rockies are 14-10 against the other four teams in the NL West, including a 4-2 mark against the Diamondbacks. Arizona is in the midst of a tumultuous season and has seemed to lose interest in challenging for a playoff spot. What better way to add to their misery than by sweeping the Diamondbacks?

June is set to be a huge month for the Rockies. May did not go by the script, but the good news is that it is over.

Colorado fans, don’t stop believin’ in our guys.

 

Chirps from the Rockies-Indians finale

Well, this wasn’t how it was supposed to go. The Indians brought their brooms to the ballpark on Sunday and swept the Rockies. Colorado dropped to 2-7 on this road trip. Below are some tweets from the 6-4 loss, including fan reaction, professional analysis and even a web gem nominee from MLB.

The Rockies have a travel day on Monday before beginning a series against the Diamondbacks at Coors Field on Tuesday.

Haters gon’ hate

We’ve all heard that phrase. Now, it’s time to put it to good use.

This segment will explore one topic about the Rockies that I just don’t like, thus deeming me as a “hater.”

The issue: Why can’t the Rockies reach base on the road?

It shouldn’t matter if you draw a walk or get a hit – you get on base both ways.

Right now, the Rockies seem to be reaching for that hit instead of being patient at the plate and drawing a walk on the road this season. After torching the Reds in Cincinnati earlier this month, the Rockies were hitting .300 on balls in play. That average has dropped 15 points in just six games away from Coors Field. We can only hope this is just a string of bad luck.

Michael Cuddyer and Co. need to find a way to get on base away from Coors Field. (Creative Commons)

Michael Cuddyer and Co. need to find a way to get on base away from Coors Field. (Creative Commons)

Colorado hitters have drawn the fourth-fewest walks this season and only the Diamondbacks have a lower percentage of walks in total plate appearances. When you play in a ballpark that allows a majority of balls in play to drop for hits, that isn’t a bad thing. However, when you are in an unforgiving ballpark, simply making contact just isn’t going to get the job done.

Getting runners on base is the goal of every manager going into each game, especially on the road. The Rockies are not doing that as their 6.3 percent walk rate tops only the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL.

The impatience at the plate has cost Colorado, as its on-base percentage on the road is .291, which is fifth-worst in all of baseball. Below are the road numbers from players with over 50 plate appearances:

(Screen grab of FanGraphs)

(Screen grab of FanGraphs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Now, Troy Tulowitzki is the exception to this vent session. He has shown discipline at the plate with a 17.2 percent walk rate away from Denver. Is it a coincidence that he has a high walk rate during an MVP season? There may be other factors to his outstanding season, but it certainly has helped.

What needs to improve is the on-base percentage of Carlos Gonzalez, Wilin Rosario and DJ LeMahieu. Those three need to pick it up and set themselves up for teammates to knock them in. Combined, the trio has 15 walks on the road compared to 30 by Tulowitzki.

CarGo’s batting average of .200 of balls in play still isn’t the worst on the team. Rosario checks in with a .167 BABIP. This has lead to an elevated swing rate and more outs from the four and five hitters in the lineup.

All these numbers (minus Tulo’s) scream that the Rockies need to take a more balanced approach when batting on the road. This will lead to more wins and an improved road record. Colorado is 12-17 away from home, which ranks 23rd in the majors.

If the Rockies don’t improve this key statistic, their road record will remain that poor. This could lead to a missed opportunity at the playoffs and a lot of unhappy fans. Just remember, there’s no crying in baseball.