LaTroy Hawkins saves 30 games
Long have I been the advocate of using multiple guys to close games rather than locking into one guy in the 9th inning all the time. I have always thought that the Rockies need to use their best pitchers against the other team’s best hitters, as in, starting in about the 7th inning they need to have Rex Brothers on the mound to face the teeth of the opposing team’s lineup.
While I have been left hemming and hawing, the Rockies put into motion a plan in which veteran LaTroy Hawkins starts the 2014 season as the closer while Brothers is groomed as the “closer of the future.” That plan presumes that Hawkins will possibly cede the role during this season.
With Opening Day less than 48 hours away, it’s starting to feel like the Rockies will have a lot of ups and downs with the guys serving in set-up roles: Brothers, Boone Logan, Matt Belisle, Chad Bettis, and even Wilton Lopez. That uncertain group might benefit from being structured around a relatively sure thing in the 9th inning.
Consider this a full flip-flop: I believe the Rockies will benefit greatly if Hawkins remains closer for the whole season. Is that likely to happen? Well, that might be another issue entirely. But if Hawkins saves 30 or more games, it should mean things are going right for the other guys in the Rockies’ bullpen.