Pierce Johnson likely to be replaced as Rockies closer

San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies
San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

After blowing a two-run lead today, Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black informed reporters the primary closer role will be addressed per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.

Johnson, 32, is 11 for 13 this year as a closer with an ERA of 7.50 and 33 strikeouts. Hitters have an average of .300 against him this season as well.

In his seven-year career, Johnson has never seen consistent time as a closer. Before the season began, he has only had 13 save opportunities and had served primarily as a relief pitcher. It is worth noting in 2017, he only pitched in one inning of relief for the Chicago Cubs.

Coming into the month of June, Johnson was perfect in save opportunities as he was 10/10. On June 1. he blew his first save of the season after giving up two runs, two hits, and a walk against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

However, Johnson's struggles date back to the middle of May as the Rockies were up 9-7 against the Cincinnati Reds on May 15. Johnson gave up one run and allowed two hits and a walk in that inning.

On May 25. Johnson blew a four-run lead against the Miami Marlins in the top of the ninth inning. However, he was fortunate enough that the Rockies offense provided him with extra run support later in the inning.

If Johnson were to be replaced as the team's closer, it is likely that 14-year veteran right-handed pitcher, Daniel Bard would regain the role as the team's closer. Bard spent the early parts of 2023 dealing with mental health issues. He has a total of 34 saves in the previous season but has yet to make a save or receive a save opportunity this year. Nonetheless, he has been pitching well with a 1.02 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 17.2 innings pitched.

Johnson signed a one-year $5 million deal with the Rockies this past offseason.