Rockies demote Drew Pomeranz to Triple-A

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Drew Pomeranz was the prospect centerpiece of the Ubaldo Jimenez trade in mid-2011 and started 22 games for Colorado last season, but the Rockies demoted the left-hander to Triple-A.

Pomeranz had an ugly 2-9 record last season as a 23-year-old rookie, but his 4.93 ERA was right around average for someone calling Coors Field home and of the nine pitchers to start at least 10 games for the Rockies only Jhoulys Chacin (4.48) had a lower ERA. And Chacin is now the Opening Day starter.

Pomeranz was very good at Triple-A last season with a 2.51 ERA and 46/20 K/BB ratio in 47 innings, but senior vice president of major league operations Bill Geivett told John Schlegel of MLB.com that the former No. 5 overall pick is going back down to work on his off-speed stuff:

Where he’s at right now, he’s an attacking fastball guy but with limited use of his secondary pitches. We’ve got to get that back in order so he can handle a game plan and handle a lineup and do the type of things that I think are not that far away.

Given the state of the Rockies’ rotation right now Pomeranz could be back in a hurry.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.