Aug 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Rex Brothers (49) reacts after allowing a Kansas City Royals run to score on a bases loaded walk in the eighth inning at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
As the season gets underway, RoxPile.com is making some fun (but completely unqualified!) predictions about how members of the Colorado Rockies will fare this summer. In this edition: Rex Brothers.
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For several seasons, Rex Brothers looked like a dominant closer in the making for the Colorado Rockies, even saving games for half a season in 2013 while striking out well over 10 batters per nine innings in his career in the big leagues.
And then… 2014 happened. Never one for impeccable control, Brothers completely lost his way last summer and allowed 39 walks and 65 hits in just 56.1 innings for the Rockies, rendering himself useless in late, tight games for much of the summer.
Now, he looks to reinvent himself and resurrect his career in Albuquerque, if he ever hopes to have a shot with the big league club again.
What The Numbers Say
FanGraphs lists various projection systems, which you can learn more about here.
Somewhat inconceivably, FanGraphs projection systems still think Brothers will throw in more than 25 games this year in the big leagues, and somehow even more insane, hold him to ERA and FIP numbers both under 4.25.
Considering Brothers’ season last year, his struggles this spring, and his early season bouts of wildness in Albuquerque (he walked nine batters in his first six innings), having him see considerable time in Denver would be quite an achievement.
Call to the Pen
Look, we are all hoping Brothers figures out what’s ailing him, whether it’s mechanical, or psychological, or a combination of the two, or something else altogether. No one wants to see him struggle, because we all remember what he was like for those seasons he was a dominant reliever with the Rockies.
For that reason, then, a best-case scenario for Brothers would obviously be a resurrection and return to his old self. Obviously, the Rockies bullpen is going to keep needing some quality depth as the year wears on, and we all hope Brothers will very soon be one of the pitchers to provide that depth.
We’re already seeing it. A very poor 2014, followed by a wild and ineffective Spring Training, and now a slow start to his AAA season that has seen him give up seven hits and nine walks in his first six innings of work.
At least to this point, it doesn’t appear Brothers is anywhere closer to figuring out his issues on the mound than he was last year or this spring.
It’s pretty pessimistic for Brothers, unfortunately. Whether it was a mechanical change (and whether that was mandated by the team, or not), or if it’s something else entirely, Brothers is in a bad spot almost every time he takes the mound.
I’d love to be proven wrong with a resurrected Rex this summer, but at this point, I just don’t see it happening, and I think Brothers will spend most – if not all – of the season in Albuquerque. As for his Rockies’ future beyond that… it’s anybody’s guess.
Give us your predictions!