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Ian Stewart and Rockies avoid arbitration with one-year deal

Jan 28, 2011, 12:12 PM EDT

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Ian Stewart and the Rockies have avoided arbitration with a one-year, $2.23 million deal that nearly splits the difference between the $2.6 million figure he submitted and the team’s $2.15 million counter.

It’s actually about $140,000 short of the exact midway point, but Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Stewart can earn an additional $72,500 in incentives based on playing time.

Colorado has signed Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez to massive long-term deals this offseason, but it’s no surprise that they’re choosing to go year-to-year with Stewart. He’s yet to build on a strong rookie campaign in 2007, posting an OPS below .800 in each of the past two seasons, and has hit just .239 away from Coors Field.

He’s under the Rockies’ control for two more seasons as an arbitration eligible player, but 2011 could be a make-or-break year for Stewart in Colorado.

  1. poseidonsfist - Jan 28, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    I realize that it is a very safe default to write “he only hit .XXX away from Coors” as an implied weakness in these types of articles, but in this case, it’s completely misleading and borderline untrue.

    In 2009, he hit .235 away from Coors, but that was BETTER than his .221 at home. In 2010, he was one of the few Rockies with a BETTER OPS on the road, almost fifty points better, and 12 of his 18 home runs came away from Coors. In fact, he pretty much has a zero OPS and average home/road split the last two years, so this shouldn’t even be mentioned with Stewart.

    Also, where did that .239 number come from? He hit .248 on the road in 2010 and .235 in 2009…

  2. Aaron Gleeman - Jan 28, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    Also, where did that .239 number come from?

    Stewart has hit .239 away from Coors Field for his entire career. So, you know, maybe not so “completely misleading and borderline untrue.”

  3. poseidonsfist - Jan 28, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    I thought that might be the case, but still, for his career, he’s just .251 at home. And .795/.770 home/away OPS. That’s not very much.

    Expand it to just the two years he was a starter, and he’s a .243 hitter at home and .241 on the road. .777 OPS at home, .767 OPS on the road. You chose to highlight that he has hit “only .239 away from Coors” which directly implies he’s a poor road hitter. And he’s not. That’s why it’s misleading. He’s one of the best Rockies maintaining his hitting on the road. His issue is that he’s just not a high average hitter, period, not that he’s a poor road hitter.

    • Jeremiah Graves - Jan 28, 2011 at 2:03 PM

      …so your defense of Stewart is that he’s not a “poor road hitter,” but rather that he’s simply a “poor hitter.”

      Huh.

      Rockies fans are weird.

      • poseidonsfist - Jan 28, 2011 at 2:41 PM

        Kind of. I never said that he was a great hitter. He’s pretty below average to this point as an MLB starting third baseman. It just seems very weird to single out his career road average as an example of his weakness when he’s just as mediocre at Coors as he is on the road. What it comes down to is:

        What’s the point of pointing out a split if it there actually is no split? The wording of this article would lead readers to believe Stewart is just another Rockies hitter whose stats are brought down by an inability to hit away from Coors. Which is not true.

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