The Colorado Rockies look awfully clever for signing veteran relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins to be their closer in 2014. Many felt that Rex Brothers had earned the job; the organization felt that he needed some more time.
Boy were they right.
Brothers was called on for a spot save on Wednesday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Rockies were up 4-2 and going for the sweep. Brothers was not able to hold the fort, surrendering three hits, hitting a batter, and allowing two runs to tie things up and send the game to extra innings.
In you case you were not able to catch the game, here is some footage of Brothers’ outing Wednesday night.
His command just was not right, as we have seen from him before. It’s hard not to feel for Brothers a little bit, as you can see how hard he is thinking about throwing strikes. Unfortunately that did not help things on this night, as you can see from this pitch F/X graph:
Graph from TexasLeaguers.com
Here is that same graph, with analysis:
Brothers spiked sliders and sailed fastballs. He grimaced and he pounded his glove. He got hit hard. He blew the save and the Diamondbacks prevailed 5-4 in extra innings.
There is plenty of reason to be confident in Brothers long term, but right now the dude is just a mess. In a surprisingly thin bullpen, the Rockies have to figure out what the heck they are going to do to find an answer in the late innings when they cannot turn to Adam Ottavino or LaTroy Hawkins. Until further notice, Brothers is not the answer.