So, since we have already let the team’s management know that the Rockies need to replace either or both of Juan Nicasio and Franklin Morales. Frankie was great on Tuesday night and could easily have tossed 6 innings of shut-out ball, but even so, a quality-start and looked great throwing 6 innings in only 92 pitches. Still waiting on Nicasio…will give Dan O’Dowd and Walt time on that.
But with Hawk’s outings for the month of May:
May 3 – Mets at home – 9th inning – on 3 days rest – .2 innings – 1 ER, 1R, 3Hits, 1BB, 0K – 6 batters – 18 pitches – Rox won game on walk-off homer by Culberson to give Hawking his first win in the 11-10 game.
May 7 – at Texas – 9th inning – on 3 days rest – .1 innings – 2 batters faced, 1 hit allowed (Boone Logan got first 2 out) – Rockies won the game 9-2.
May 14 – at K.C. – 8th inning (last) – on 6 days rest – 1 inning – 4 batters faced, 1 hit allowed 10 pitches required – Rox lost the game 3-2.
May 16 – at home vs SD Padres – 9th inning – on 1 day rest – 1 inning – 3 hits, 1 earned run, 1 strikeout, 6 batters faced, 23 pitches required – Rockies won the game 3-1, Hawkins gets a save but the team loses its shutout and tying runner came to plate.
May 18 – at home vs SD Padres – 9th inning – on 1 day rest – 1 inning – 2 hits, 2 earned runs, 1 home run, total of 5 batters and 15 pitches, home run tied the game at 6-6. Rockies win 8-6 on Justin Morneau’s walk-off homer.
I love Hawkins. Great guy, good to have in the pen. And all relievers have bad game and bad runs. But at 41 you have the most important role in the pen. Is there anything we have seen in May that says, “You are the guy I know is going to get 3 outs and celebrate the win.” Yes, he is now 2-0 and has a 1 save in the month, but only 2 scoreless outings covering 1.1 innings and even those two outings had hits allowed. You cannot go forward as a serious division competitor with that kind of performance in the pen. If he was 31 and not the closer we would be saying, “Wow, give him the 6th for a while?” But he is paid to close and its not happening. And that cannot continue.
But who gets the job?
We need to eliminate a few right off.
Tommy Kahnle has closer stuff, but 3 months into his big league career and a history in the minors of walks…sorry, he is more valuable as a multi-inning arm and also someone you can bring in to try and get a big K in an inning.
Matt Belisle is looking more and more like the Matty B of old. But that Matt didn’t close either. Too many hits allowed because he gets ground-ball outs. While he is throwing harder, he is a 7th or 8th inning option on every other night.
So now the options.
Adam Ottovino is a great arm and piece in the pen. He has never closed before but that slider is an out pitch. The fastball though while 93 is a bit too straight. He could close if you did the “Closer by Committee” but not what you want yet closing. Staying as the 7th or 8th makes sense. But Romo has been a great closer the last year throwing a nasty slider. Here is his stats:
Last two weeks: 4 games, 12 Plate appearances: BA allowed .083 OBP .083 SLUG .083 and OPS .167! Batting average on balls in play – .167! Season stats: 1.47 ERA and .764 WHIP in 18.1 IP before Tuesday.
Rex (Good Rex)
Rex Brothers has closed for this team and been good in the role. We know this team wants him to be the closer someday. But they brought in Hawkins for a reason. And the Rex of this season has not had the velocity on most night that made his slider even more nasty. 87 and hard break is much harder to not swing at when it was proceeded by 94-95 fastball. This year it has been more 90-92. Even worse 13 walks in 19 innings. But 19 saves last year! We joke bad Rex and good Rex but he is tough to face most night for hitters, even when wild.
Last two weeks: 4 games, 17 Plate appearances: BA allowed .077 OBP .250 SLUG .077 and OPS .327! Batting average on balls in play – .100! Season stats 2.84 ERA and 1.316 WHIP in 19 IP before Tuesday.
Big $ Boone
Boone Logan: Boone was a one-out only guy for a good period of his time in New York, but the Rox believed he could get out righties and lefties, and go for a whole inning. They gave him a lot of money, because he is going to be the lefty when Rex eventually becomes the closer. But has he been worth it? He has been okay? I put him here only because when you give that much money you should be considered for closing. But he has not been good enough! 1-1, 3.65 ERA in 12.1 innings in 15 games those are not closer numbers.
Last two weeks: 3 games, 9 Plate appearances: BA allowed .333 OBP .375 SLUG 1.000 OPS 1.375!Batting avg on balls in play – .200! Season stats 3.65 ERA and WHIP of 1.216 in 12.1 IP before Tuesday.
Masset the MASH Man
There is a huge Nick Masset cult on Rowwalkoff.com, and I am included. But we need to be real, this guy hadn’t thrown a game in 2 years before this year! Masset was never a closer before the shoulder and thoracic surgery. But his stuff is plenty nasty I think we can all agree. But do you trust the 9th to a guy who has thrown 6 games in 3 years? That 5 pitch inning on Sunday vs the Padres gives an image of what he could do in high leverage situations.
Last two weeks: 5 games, 18 Plate appearances: BA allowed .125 OBP .222 SLUG .188 OPS .410! Batting average on balls in play – .167! Season stats 1.50 ERA and WHIP of 1.167 in 6IP before Tuesday.
Is there a good choice?
So suddenly as much as I think it is clear that Hawk need to give the roll up until he can get things worked out (I do believe he can be effective as a closer if the ball gets down and the ball starts moving better) the big question is who? So your vote:
2) Rex (Good Rex)
3) Big $ Boone
4) Masset the MASH man?
6) Closer by Committee?
7) An arm in the minors?
8) Whatever “the Book” says because that dang book Walt Weiss got from LaRussa and Cox is never wrong.