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What's new? Bullpen implodes again for Colorado Rockies

David Martin Avatar
September 16, 2014
Rex Brothers has been terrible in 2014 for the Rockies.

Oh Brothers.

If the Colorado Rockies want to prove to their fans that they are serious about winning, the statement will be made early and often in the offseason. The focus of building the Rockies will being and end with revamping the entire bullpen.

On Monday night at Coors Field, Walt Weiss called upon Rex Brothers in the 6th inning to try and keep the Rockies in a 3-3 game. Whether Weiss actually believed that was possible or not is debatable, but the fact of the matter remains the same, Brothers was awful. Again.

Nick Masset then stepped to the mound and did what has become commonplace for him and the rest of the Rockies relievers. He gave up even more runs. Suddenly, the tie game was an eight run advantage for the Dodgers. Thanks for coming out to the ballpark, goodnight.

The Rockies have attempted to build their bullpen over the past two seasons. Two years ago the team dealt failed trade chip Alex White to the Houston Astros for Wilton Lopez. The reliever had closed games for the Astros and had the potential to be a great late-inning arm.

Before the 2014 season, the Rockies surprised everyone by overpaying for Yankees reliever Boone Logan. They gave the lefty a three-year deal worth in the neighborhood of $17 million.

Both relievers failed miserably. Both were extreme disappointments.

The reason why both of them failed should be obvious to the Rockies. Lopez was going to be a New York Met a couple of weeks before the Rockies dealt White for him. However, a physical performed by the Mets nixed the trade and had him set to return to Houston. However, the Rockies swooped in and ignored whatever issues the Mets saw with Lopez and made the deal.

Logan was essentially in the same boat. He underwent elbow surgery in October to remove a bone spur and bone chips from his elbow. The Rockies figured that, even though he would need extra time in spring training, that he would be alright. They were wrong.

The problem with the Logan situation is that bone spurs are often the warning signs of an impending UCL injury, which almost always requires Tommy John surgery.

The Rockies seem to understand that they need to overpay for a reliever. What they don’t seem to understand is that overpaying for a reliever doesn’t mean that the reliever will suddenly turn into the pitcher that would normally be represented by that salary. A player doesn’t become someone different because of the salary that he receives, he is simply the player that he has always been, just a year older.

What the Rockies need to do is target the best relievers on the free agent market and those who might be available via trade. They need to not look for the most available reliever who is actually very good. They shouldn’t target the reliever that they think they have a chance at and pay him as if he is the best reliever on the market. That clearly has been a mistake.

The Rockies also need to be willing to make tough decisions. Matt Belisle fits into the Rockies category of a guy who fits in well in the clubhouse. However, despite a good middle of the season, Belisle struggled both early and late in the year. He is showing the signs of overuse and age. It is time for the Rockies to move on.

The issues at 20th and Blake go far beyond the bullpen, but starting there is the best plan of attack for a team that can’t seem to hit anymore and has actually shown some starting pitching promise of late.

Regardless, the Rockies need to make major changes. They need to be bold in the way they approach this offseason. If that doesn’t include a shiny new front office, it should mean a shiny new bullpen.

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