The Rockies and Ian Stewart agreed on a new contract Thursday, avoiding arbitration. Ian holds an interesting home/road split. He hits for more power on the road, but does a much better job of getting on base at Coors Field:
Looking at his in play data since 2008, Ian is much more of a line drive hitter at home. In that time, 27.4% of his balls in play at home get classified as line drives as opposed to just 17.2% at home. It almost seems that in the big park, where the outfielders tend to play deep and spread out, Ian goes for the sure hit, the line single. On the road, he lofts the ball more, leading to more doubles and home runs, somewhat making up for the higher number of outs.
I'm often wondered if teams should use home/road platoons like they use left/right platoons. With Ian, however, it might behoove the Rockies to use him differently in the lineup in different locations. On the road, where his power is king, Stewart could continue to bat low in the order, around sixth. At home, however, he might be better used as a number two hitter, helping to set up the power in the middle of the Colorado order.