If there is one thing we know for sure about Rex Brothers, it is this: as a left-handed relief pitcher who can throw 95 MPH, he will get plenty of second chances in big league bullpens. There is a prime example of that fact on his own roster in the form of hard-throwing southpaw Franklin Morales.
That establishes what we do know: whether with the Rockies or with somebody else, Brothers has lots of professional baseball in front of him. In the short term, the question we have to ask is how the heck he fits with the Rockies and their tattered bullpen.
With a one-run lead on Friday night, Brothers entered the game, nominally serving as the setup man. It went about the way that you would expect it to, given the way Brothers has pitched this season.
Three batters faced, three walks, three earned runs, and laying the ground work for a winning grand slam for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
His work as far as command goes looks something like this, though this doesn’t even do justice to how ugly it was.
PITCHf/x data courtesy of TexasLeaguers.com
With Brothers, his issues have been all over the map. His velocity been up, his velocity has been down. He has been hit hard and he has issued walks. In this case it looked like Brothers was cutting it loose, with his velocity sitting around 94 MPH, but he absolutely could not command anything.
The Rockies can actually afford to have Brothers out there working on stuff in these meaningless games as the 2014 season winds down; the problem is, outings like the one last night can just decimate the confidence of a guy who is already thinking way too much and way too hard with each pitch.
There are failures all over the bullpen, but none are more disappointing than Rex Brothers because he entered the season with so much hope. Where to go from now is anybody’s guess, but it doesn’t look like anybody knows what to do at this point.