There are other players who could be slotted into Colorado’s closer position next year as well. Some of them are a stretch … but not impossible.
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Mike Dunn will return to the Rockies bullpen after signing a three-year, $19 million contract before the 2017 season. The southpaw has always been more of a set-up guy than a closer, as witnessed by his four saves in the 502 games in which he has pitched. Still, he has a late-inning mindset and it is not inconceivable to him see him pushed into the role.
Austin House took over the closer role for Albuquerque last season after Matt Carasiti was sent to the Chicago Cubs organization in exchange for Zac Rosscup. Carasiti struggled during his time with the Rockies in 2016, posting a 9.19 ERA. However, last season, he led Albuquerque with 21 saves.
House finished tied for the third-most saves with the Isotopes last season with three. He also had an 8-2 mark and 1.85 ERA in 49 games. He led the team with 11 holds and finished 20 games, the second-highest mark behind Carasiti. The 26-year-old right-hander could be a darkhorse.
Jairo Diaz had a 2017 season to forget and finished the campaign on the 60-day DL with right elbow inflammation. That’s the same arm that needed Tommy John surgery in 2016. If Diaz can get healthy, he has the tools to make a difference in the Colorado bullpen. He also had three saves last season with the Isotopes so the ninth innings is not out of his comfort zone.