Boone Logan Has Struggled, But The Colorado Rockies Must Use Him Better
Apr 21, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies relief pitcher B. Logan (48) in the dugout after being pulled in the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field. The Padres defeated the Rockies 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Boone Logan has been a disappointment with the Colorado Rockies, but the club ought to reevaluate the way they use the left-hander out of the bullpen.
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After signing a three-year, $16.5 million deal before last season, Boone Logan has been a disappointment for the Colorado Rockies. He threw in just 35 games last year, dealing with injuries throughout the season, and when he was on the mound, he wasn’t good.
Now in 2015, Logan brought high expectations as a veteran in the bullpen, and the Rockies needed him in late innings to help John Axford. That role has become doubly important since LaTroy Hawkins and Rafael Betancourt, the Rockies’ two other veteran relievers, have spent time on the disabled list already this year.
Logan has not met those expectations. Calculated before Tuesday’s game in Houston, Logan has allowed 21 hits and 10 walks in 21 innings, for a 1.48 WHIP to go along with an unsightly 4.71 ERA and two blown saves in his set-up role.
Considering his experience and salary, you have every right to be frustrated with Logan; many are, and should be, considering he’s (a) not consistently helping the Rockies in the bullpen, and (b) not pitching well enough to make himself a trade piece before the deadline.
He’s so bad, the Rockies can’t use him, and he’s also so bad, the Rockies can’t get rid of him! (Ok, that’s hyperbolic, but his struggles are creating that unfortunate dichotomy.)
But there’s something to be said for how Logan is being used by Walt Weiss and the Rockies in late innings. With Logan’s experience, salary, and stuff (he throws a 92.1 mph fastball and 81.8 mph slider, according to FanGraphs), it’s tempting to use his lefty power offerings in a set-up role to bridge the game to Axford in the ninth inning.
Only… that’s not what the numbers show.
Against Logan this year, right-handed hitters are 18-for-52 with three home runs, two doubles, and five walks (.346/.411/.569). Lefties, on the other hand, are just 3-for-31 with no extra-base hits, five walks, and 17 strikeouts (.096/.293/.096).
The difference in those two numbers should scream out to Weiss, as it hopefully does to you, and as it certainly does to me: left-handed specialist!
I know, with Logan making $5.5 million this year, and the Rockies’ bullpen not exactly the epitome of depth, it’s tough to legitimize only using Logan for one batter every other day.
But the numbers don’t lie, and the role needs to change, because righties are seeing Logan too well.
Since we all know the Rockies aren’t going to be a playoff team this year anyways, it’s worth it to take a chance on Scott Oberg, Brooks Brown, and Tommy Kahnle in set-up roles.
Logan has proven that, while he may be hell on lefties, he can’t get righties out. He shouldn’t be given any more late inning opportunities to reinforce those splits.
As a lefty specialist, on the other hand, he can succeed in Colorado and/or showcase himself for a playoff club that wants to trade for him before the end of July, and either way, give the Rockies some kind of return on their $16.5 million investment.