As the Colorado Rockies look at their list of arbitration eligible players, it ends up providing a little snapshot of the relief pitchers who entered the season with so much promise and ended up being so disappointing. Entering the season the bullpen was supposed to, at least somewhat, be an area of strength. Instead it ended up being an utter and complete disaster, and now the Rockies have to plug holes in every phase of it: long relief, middle innings, and back of the bullpen.
As they enter the off-season, part of that process will be dealing with arbitration eligible relief pitchers. Thomas Harding of MLB.com provides the list:
Boggs and Lopez both can be labeled as “fall from grace” type guys. They are not that far removed from being successful set-up men and closers (in Lopez’s case). Boggs did it on the freaking Cardinals, which goes to show that he has game, or at least that he did at one point. Everything was supposed to work out for Lopez and his sinker with the Rockies. And…ugh, they just didn’t. He is the anti-Nolan Arenado among Rockies fans on Twitter – everybody talks about him, but not because they are excited about him. With Arenado it was curiosity, excitement, and even obsession. With Lopez it was mostly vitriol, disdain, and then eventually resigned indifference.
Of the group I would like to see the Rockies bring back all three pitchers. Actually. Seriously. I mean it. Talented arms are hard to come by, and while these guys had rough goes of it last season, I believe it is worth it to keep them around and let them compete for spots in the bullpen next season.
Herrera is the guy I’m not so sure the Rockies should retain, as much as I love the guy. But you better believe he will be back. Jonathan Herrera will be back, smacking his gum, playing the game the right way, and running not-that-fast on the bases.