3 Candidates to replace Pierce Johnson as the Rockies closer

New York Mets v Colorado Rockies
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Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black has confirmed that six-year veteran right-handed pitcher Pierce Johnson will be removed from the team's closer role.

Johnson is 11 for 13 on saves for the year with a 7.50 ERA, 33 strikeouts, and has allowed 17 walks this year.

It was announced yesterday that Black would address the position after Johnson gave up a 4-3 lead and resulted in a 6-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants.

Although Johnson has only blown two saves this year, he has faced significant challenges in his position since last May. During this time, he has given up a total of 15 runs and 19 hits, which raised cause for concern.

While Johnson's time as a closer is coming to an end, he will still serve as a valuable asset to the Colorado bullpen. In 2021, Johnson had an ERA of 3.22 with 77 strikeouts and 27 walks for the San Diego Padres.

Moving forward, I have compiled a list of candidates who could move into the new role for the Rockies.

Justin Lawrence

Justin Lawrence
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After having two years that weren't necessarily the greatest for any young pitcher, Lawrence is starting to finally hone into his own in 2023. Right now, the 28-year-old right-handed pitcher from Florida is arguably one of the best pitchers in the Rockies bullpen.

Lawrence currently owns a 3.41 ERA with 37 strikeouts and has allowed only 13 walks in 34.1 innings pitched. He also has only given up one home run this season and has already tied his career high of seven holds proving he has the clutch ability to excel in the closer role. This year, he has a total of two saves to his name.

During his time in the minor leagues, Lawrence managed to secure 39 saves out of 66 opportunities. In the previous year, he played for both AAA Albuquerque and the MLB, earning a total of 13 saves with the Isotopes.