2010 Rockies Player Review: Joe Beimel

DENVER - SEPTEMBER 13: Relief pitcherJoe Beimel #97 of the Colorado Rockies delivers against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field on September 13 2010 in Denver Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Right after questions about the long-term contracts with Carlos Gonzalez and Ubaldo Jimenez, the most frequent question Troy Renck has had to answer on twitter this offseason has been: "Why aren't the Rockies bringing Joe Beimel back?" Renck's answer has held unwavered - great faith in lefty rookie Matt Reynolds, hope and faith in former top prospect Franklin Morales, and it doesn't hurt that top relief prospect Rex Brothers will be pounding down the door at 20th and Blake in 2011.

Those are all fantastic and valid reasons, but there is one that Renck has not mentioned. Joe Beimel is just not the type of pitcher you sign to a guaranteed MLB contract in December.

On July 31, 2009, Dan O'Dowd dealt minor league pitchers Ryan Mattheus and Robinson Fabian for the veteran southpaw. Beimel pitched fairly well in 15.2 IP in 2009, yet he wasn't retained as a free agent until March 23, 2010. Despite the late start and early rust, Beimel became a critical part of the bullpen, acting as the late inning lefty and teaming up with Matt Belisle and Rafael Betancourt to cover the seventh and eighth innings.

He held his ERA below 1.00 until June 24 (the Pedroia game) with help from a 17.0 IP scoreless streak, starting April 18 and ending June 4. So why are the Rockies so carefree about letting a talented veteran reliever who loves Colorado walk away?

I will get to Matt Reynolds more tomorrow, but in terms of just Joe Beimel, solid reliever, he was nothing spectacular as a Rockie, despite the fan love. He managed a paltry 4.20 K/9, quite low for a guy you count on to strike out a dangerous lefty in late innings. Part of that was being over-used against right-handed batters given his struggles with RHB.

While his ERA was great (3.40), the ERA-predictor stats FIP (4.59), xFIP (4.94) and tERA (4.91) suggest he did not pitch all that well. While I am all for giving a pitcher his due for beating sabermetric predictive stats in a season, that really does not apply to left-handed relievers, who generally don't pitch full innings on a consistent basis. Are those innings relacable internally? I would argue they most certainly are. At the very least, they are not the kind of numbers you must lock into an MLB deal before spring training.

Grade: B-

2011

Beimel remains a free agent and is drawing interest from the Philadelphia Phillies. Dismayed Rockies fans should take heart. At this point, the Rockies' left-handed relievers were Franklin Morales and Randy Flores. Rex Brothers was not on the periphery yet. There is much to be excited about the Rockies' left-handed bullpen. For the doubters:

2010

IP

K/9

BB/9

ERA

FIP

fWAR

rWAR

Joe Beimel

45

4.20

3.00

3.40

4.59

0.1

0.8

Matt Reynolds

18

8.50

2.50

2.00

3.80

0.2

0.5

Like many Rockies fans, I was a fan of Joe Beimel. It was hard not to be. However, I have no qualms with cutting ties with Beimel in favor of Reynolds, Morales and Brothers. Happy trails Joe.

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