Colorado Rockies News: CarGo’s Ankle and Bullpen Changes
By Kevin Henry
A change in closer
As mentioned at the start of the article, three of Colorado’s most crushing losses this season came in this homestand … and two of them happened in the ninth inning when Carlos Estevez was on the hill.
“Wild Thing,” as Estevez is now known as his music blares over the Coors Field speakers when he comes in, blew two 3-1 leads to two separate opponents within the span of four days … and both outings ended up costing the Rockies what looked to be a sure victory.
On Friday against Miami, Estevez gave up four runs and three hits while getting just one out. On Monday against Texas, the 23-year-old right-hander surrendered three hits and two runs while registered just one out.
In the span of two games, Estevez watched his ERA rise from 3.66 to 5.18.
Similar situations with similar devastating outcomes that caused Colorado manager Walt Weiss to at least temporarily pull the plug on the “Estevez as closer” experiment.
“I talked to Carlos, and I’m going to get him out of that role for now, just to catch his breath,” Weiss told reporters before Tuesday’s game. “Part of my responsibility as a manager is to put guys in a position to succeed. He’s a young player. I’ve talked about how he’s made of all the right stuff. He’s going to be a great closer in this league for a long time.”
But that time isn’t now, so Colorado will return former closer Adam Ottavino to the role he held when he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery early last season.
Ottavino has been spectacular in his return to the mound, not allowing a run in 11.2 innings that have spanned 15 games.
The change in closer accomplishes two feats.
First, it gives Estevez a chance to clear his head and become reliable again. At 23, he has a lot of baseball left in him and the Rockies need him to be consistent out of the bullpen.
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Second, it makes the Colorado bullpen stronger. Ottavino as closer is the right move and one that he’s been working toward since he returned in early July. It’s a move that is needed with a Colorado bullpen that is suddenly struggling to catch its collective breath.