Colorado Rockies: The bullpen’s newest secret weapon
Colorado Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich spent a lot of money this offseason building a “super bullpen.” Closer Wade Davis and setup man Adam Ottavino have been nothing short of dominant. For the rest of the bullpen, however, it’s been a different story.
Bryan Shaw and Jake McGee have struggled at times in their role as the bridge between the starters and Ottavino and Davis. Chris Rusin has battled injuries and inconsistency in what has turned into a months-long battle to rediscover last season’s success.
In the midst of these early-season disappointments, left-handed rookie Harrison Musgrave has shown potential over a small sample size.
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A starter by trade, Musgrave has the ability to go multiple innings if necessary, but that doesn’t mean he has to be limited to long relief. Right now, the Rockies don’t have a spot for Musgrave in the starting rotation, but he is taking advantage of his opportunity to pitch out of the bullpen.
Musgrave has posted a 1.00 ERA with a 0.89 WHIP and 4 strikeouts over 9 innings out of the ‘pen since being promoted. Most of his appearances have come in blowouts or eating up innings in games where the Rockies are behind by a handful of runs.
But that could change.
On Monday, he pitched the 7th and 8th innings of the Rockies’ eventual 6-5 10th inning walk-off victory against the San Fransisco Giants.
Musgrave came into the game with the Giants leading 5-4 and preserved the one-run deficit, allowing the Rockies to tie the game in the 8th and ultimately prevail in extra innings.
He used 21 pitches to retire all six batters he faced and only threw 5 balls across the two innings.
Musgrave appears to be gaining manager Bud Black’s trust, and deservedly so.
The lefty has been strong so far in limited duty, and with several other members of the bullpen struggling to find their footing, it makes sense for Musgrave to get more opportunities to pitch in high-leverage situations.
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Musgrave gives Bud Black a fourth lefty to turn to in the bullpen and if he continues to pitch like he has, he may just end up representing another strong arm to preserve the lead late in the game.