It was just one game but the Colorado Rockies should make a change at closer. Rex Brothers is in the bullpen to close — not work the eighth inning.
Brothers, who pitched the eighth inning during Wednesday’s win, worked as the closer last season and performed strongly in the role. He had 19 saves and an ERA of 1.74. That is why the signing of veteran LaTroy Hawkins was a bit puzzling.
Hawkins had his first chance to close out a game on Wednesday and made it look about as difficult as possible. He threw 36 pitches and dealt with traffic on the base paths the whole time. Giancarlo Stanton came up as the winning run for the Marlins in the ninth. That’s not a good thing as the powerful outfielder just missed a home run. He drove in a run with a single that made the game 6-5.
This could be considered a knee jerk reaction to one game but Brothers is the future for the Rockies. He should be in the closer spot. Hawkins still throws pretty hard for his age but he honestly is better suited for the seventh or eighth inning.
Brothers was not spotless either as he walked two in his inning of work.
Rockies fans has seen this before from Hawkins. He was signed in 2007 to the set-up man. Of course that Rockies team did make the World Series but the bullpen transformed a lot from the beginning of the year. Hawkins struggled in the set up role and moved to a seventh inning spot.
Hawkins looked bad in his first appearance that season as well. On Opening Day, the veteran came in and gave up the lead to the Arizona Diamondbacks. That was a rough way to start with a new team and then fans see Hawkins labor through an inning last night. It seemed very similar.
The Rockies are not in a win-now mode. This team is building to the future so Hawkins doesn’t make sense as the closer. Brothers should have the job and if he falters manager Walt Weiss could bring Hawkins into that role. It should not be the other way around. Hawkins should be protection for the young player.
There’s a good chance Brothers ends up the closer by the end of the season but there is no reason to wait. The Rockies need to put their best players in their right spots.
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