What To Hope For From LaTroy Hawkins In His Final Season

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LaTroy Hawkins recently announced that 2015 will be his final season in the big leagues. What should the Colorado Rockies expect from him on his farewell tour?

The LaTroy Hawkins farewell tour has the potential to be exhausting. The guy has pitched for everybody and he has been in the big leagues longer than many fans have been alive on this earth.

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Maybe that means he has earned a farewell tour, though as the folks over at Twinkie Town learned, it’s harder than you think to come up with farewell gifts for Hawkins. Besides, if durability and pitching for a lot of teams are enough to earn a guy a silly farewell tour, we all failed Octavio Dotel collectively.

On the mound, what can the Rockies expect from Hawkins?

Hawkins was solid from wire to wire in 2014, to the surprise of many. In 54.1 innings, Hawkins posted a 3.31 ERA and converted 23 saves. He was protected by a lack of save opportunities on a bad baseball team, but he was also the best pitcher in the bullpen and it wasn’t close.

If Hawkins shows that he can be effective in his last hurrah, the Rockies need to take advantage accordingly. They need to break from the mindset that CLOSERS MUST CLOSE and use Hawkins whenever he is the best option in high leverage situations. To be clear, I believe that Hawkins is headed for some regression this year, but he is still a solid option in big spots on a team that lacks quality bullpen arms otherwise.

If the Rockies are going to take advantage of Hawkins’ veteran experience to help them build a competent bullpen for 2015 and beyond, they need to be more flexible in how they use him and they need to take advantage of the fact that he is ageless by using him in a variety of situations.

Here is the video of Hawkins announcing his retirement earlier this month on MLB Network.

You don’t announce it in that manner if you don’t want some attention. Hawkins, a notoriously good guy, has probably deserved some recognition on his way out of the game.

That’s fine, but realistically, my main hope is that he gets attention from sites on the interwebs like this one for the way in which he helps build the foundation for a competent Rockies’ bullpen in his final season.

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