Rockies Year In Review: Brooks Brown


The next installment in our player review series is Brooks Brown.

There are many things worth mentioning about Brooks Brown, among them that he shares a name with the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies’ saxophonist and that he played baseball at the University of Georgia, my alma mater. I should also probably mention that he no longer plays for the Rockies. He actually doesn’t even play in the majors anymore, as he was outrighted to Triple-A by the Dodgers yesterday after being claimed off waivers by them. But this post is about Brooks Brown, the baseball player’s, performance in 2015, so let’s head that direction.

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I saw Brown when he played for Triple-A Colorado Springs in 2014, and I thought he had great potential, so it was exciting to see that the Rockies had called him up in July of that year. He finished the season with a 2.77 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 26 innings, so it was no surprise when the team allowed him to break camp with them this past April.

Brown had some memorable outings in 2015 and some forgettable ones. Probably the best known of the former variety was on May 31st when he relieved Chris Rusin, who had loaded the bases with Phillies and failed to get anyone out. Brown proceeded to strike out the side, technically. Of course, the guys he struck out had a combined batting average of .242, but that’s still an accomplishment. In a more forgettable outing, Brown came into the 9th inning of a game that the Rockies were already losing to the Pirates by three runs and proceeded to increase the deficit by three more runs.

On the other hand, a closer look at that situation reveals a resiliency in Brown. The third run scored when Tom Murphy failed to throw out a runner who was stealing third, and the errant throw allowed the runner to cross home. This would have been a good time for a meltdown. A pitcher who has already given up three runs in an inning and hasn’t even thrown a pitch to the next batter might have an excuse for being very rattled by Murphy’s mistake. And Brown did give up two more singles in the inning. But he also collected the final two outs without allowing another run to score.

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So who is Brooks Brown? Or who was he, we might say, since we’re unlikely to see him in a Rockies uniform again. Well, it’s hard to say, given that his numbers from 2014 and 2015 diverged so wildly. Between the two seasons, his FIP went from 3.71 to 4.26. His strikeout-to-walk ratio dropped from 4.20 to 1.25. And he went from 0.6 WAR to 0.3. The Rockies are in great need of bullpen depth, and they’re clearly pursuing it given yesterday’s acquisitions. Brown was able to provide that to a point, but in the end he was too unreliable to have staying power.

Overall Grade: C-