Bill Schmidt is a long-time Colorado Rockies front office staffer who was appointed senior vice president and general manager following the conclusion of the 2021 season. His first two seasons in that job have been frustrating.
The Rockies finished last in the NL West in 2022 with a 68-94 record and, halfway through the 2023 season, little has changed in the standings. They’re 31-50 and last again, saddled with the worst winning percentage in the National League.
The question is how much, if any, of the blame for that performance falls to Schmidt?
What follows is a mid-term assessment of the Rockies’ front office personnel decisions since the conclusion of the 2022 World Series with a particular focus on the extent to which those decisions have helped or hindered the team’s performance.
The standard of measurement in Wins Above Average (WAA), a variant of Wins Above Replacement (WAR). For this purpose, WAA is preferable because unlike WAR, it is zero-based. That means the sum of all the decisions made by the Rockies’ front office impacting the 2023 team gives at least a good estimate of the number of games those moves have improved (or worsened) the team’s status this season.
A team’s front office impacts that team’s standing in five ways. Those five are:
1. By the impact of players it acquires from other teams via trade, purchase or waiver claim.
2. By the impact of players it surrenders to other teams in those same transactions.
3. By the impact of players not already under control it signs at free agency or extends.
4. By the impact of players it loses to free agency or releases.
5. By the impact of players it promotes from its own farm system.
Here’s how the moves made by Schmidt since the end of last season stack halfway through the season by those five yardsticks.