I associate Manuel “don’t call me Manny” Corpas with prosperity. I think of him beating out Brian Fuentes for the closer job, devastating hitters with his slider, and making that ridiculously good defensive play to record the final out of game 162 in the 2007 season to force the play-in game.
That made it so difficult to watch Corpas struggle in the ensuing seasons. Perhaps no player better embodied the astonishing regression of the seasons after “Rocktober” than Corpas. You will still never, ever get me to call that dream run to the World Series a fluke. Having said that…
…we all have to admit that it was a lot of guys playing out of their skulls for one season. They overachieved at the same time, and they came back to the proverbial pack at the same time. Corpas’s refression to and then below the mean was drastic and depressing and a little bit expensive (the Rockies committed to him with a new contract that offseason).
In the three seasons that followed 2007, Manuel “don’t call me the Cookie Monster” Corpas struggled with his delivery. He worked underneath the ball frequently, offsetting the effectiveness of his sinking fastball and slider. Even though the Rockies signed him to be their closer, Fuentes won the job back and Corpas kicked around different roles in the bullpen before his inevitable departure after the 2010 season.
One quick note: apparently he saved 10 games in 2010. I am not at all ashamed to tell you that I have no recollection of that whatsoever.
Corpas had Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2011 season before appearing in 48 games for the Chicago Cubs last season. As far as his prospects for 2013 are concerned, the Rockies will look for Corpas to be a versatile reliever who can appear in various situations and pitch multiple innings. If he can rediscover his delivery and get on top of the baseball, I believe he can be effective again.
Manuel Corpas is back. Somehow we have to evacuate the expectations for him this season of any of our past memories of him, for better or for worse. If we do that, he enters Spring Training as a low risk option on a minor league contract, and having a few of those certainly won’t hurt the Rockies.