Colorado Rockies already fire head of analytics

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 28: A detailed view of the Nike sunglasses, Rawlings baseball glove and hat belonging to Charlie Blackmon #19 of the Colorado Rockies sitting on the dugout steps against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on June 28, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 28: A detailed view of the Nike sunglasses, Rawlings baseball glove and hat belonging to Charlie Blackmon #19 of the Colorado Rockies sitting on the dugout steps against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on June 28, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Rockies had been making progress. They had finally begun to realize such important things as the need for an analytics department and that they should look at more than minor league free agents. It may not have seen like much, but for the Rockies, it was a tremendous step in the right direction.

A major part of that overhaul involved hiring Scott Van Lenten as head of their analytics department. He had been lured away from the Nationals, someone who was supposed to revamp a department that was aeons behind everyone else. His hiring was a sign that the team was finally moving in the right direction.

Colorado Rockies take a step backwards

Van Lenten lasted for approximately six months. Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reported that Van Lenten had been fired on Tuesday due to “major disagreements” regarding his role and what that would look like moving forward.

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This is not a good look for the Rockies. As it was, they had to convince Van Lenten that they would provide him the resources and give him the latitude needed to turn that department around. The Rockies had to sell him on their vision, and that they were actually willing to move forward and join the modern baseball world.

It seemed that the Rockies were making good on that promise. While they had not made any major signings, and still thought they were going to contend in 2022, they were looking in the right direction. The players they brought in on minor league deals made sense, as did the ones they were rumored to be interested in via free agency.

But something has changed. Maybe the Rockies’ idea of the resources needed and Van Lenten’s were not the same. Or maybe there was a clash between the old school scouting oriented approach of Bill Schmidt and Van Lenten’s analytic thoughts. No matter the why, the Rockies have taken a step backwards.

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The Colorado Rockies have fired the head of their analytics department after six months. It is a giant step backwards for a team that had been making progress.