Troy Tulowitzki’s greatness is not a Coors Field creation

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Any hitter would benefit greatly from playing half his games at Coors Field, which is the most hitter-friendly ballpark in modern baseball history and dramatically inflates batting averages and power numbers across the board.

However, the tendency to dismiss a Rockies hitter’s strong overall numbers because half of them were compiled at Coors Field often misses the mark and Troy Tulowitzki is a prime example.

Tulowitzki has benefited tremendously from calling Coors Field home, batting .321 with a .951 OPS there for his career compared to .276 with an .817 OPS on the road. However, even ignoring those amazing home numbers and looking strictly at his still-strong road numbers would leave Tulowitzki as the best-hitting shortstop in baseball.

First, here are the highest OPS totals by a shortstop since 2013:

.929 – Troy Tulowitzki
.798 – Jhonny Peralta
.752 – Jed Lowrie
.738 – Jose Reyes
.735 – Ian Desmond

And now here’s what that list looks like if you separate Tulowitzki’s road numbers from his overall numbers:

.929 – Troy Tulowitzki overall
.832 – Troy Tulowitzki only on the road
.798 – Jhonny Peralta
.752 – Jed Lowrie
.738 – Jose Reyes
.735 – Ian Desmond

Toss in the fact that most hitters tend to fare better at home than on the road and Tulowitzki’s non-Coors Field performance looks even more impressive. He’s the best-hitting shortstop in baseball regardless of whether you want to make adjustments for Coors Field-inflated production or simply ignore his home numbers completely.

He’ll put up huge numbers in Toronto too.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.