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Thoughts on Rex Brothers, Wilin Rosario, Jeremy Affeldt, and moving on

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Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Rockies rhubarb: what to do with Rex Brothers - Mile High Sports

The staff at Mile High Sports discusses what should be done with mercurial left handed reliever Rex Brothers. After much success early in his career, Brothers has had major difficulties finding the strike zone. Is he strictly a lefty platoon pitcher now? Should the Rockies move on from him?

First of all, inability to get righties out isn't his problem. His splits against righties and lefties aren't very large; he has allowed a .220 average to lefties and .250 to righties. He actually walks righties less than lefties. He has a career K/9 over nine against righties. So righties hit him a little better than lefties, but that's true of all lefty pitchers. Whatever Brothers' problem is, it shows up against batters of all stripes.

In 42 Triple-A innings this year he walked more than a batter per inning. Normally that would spell disaster, but he also struck out almost 13 per nine innings, an exceptionally high rate. The result of those no-doubt maddening innings was a 4.46 ERA; not particularly good for a reliever. For what it's worth, he has a 1.93 ERA in nine innings at the major league level this year, but with eight walks and four strikeouts.

In 2013 Brothers twirled 67 innings and posted a 1.74 ERA while striking out ten per nine innings. That season is on the short list of best Rockies relief seasons ever. We know Brothers has serious talent. He'll be making his second trip through arbitration this winter and will likely get a modest raise over the $1.4 million he made this year. If he can stay anywhere near the strike zone he's a serious weapon; but if he never regains that control, no manager will trust him in a tight ball game.

When every batter's strike zone looks like Eddie Gaedel's, it isn't easy to play this game.

Bryan was on Mile High Sports Radio, too. Give it a listen:

Wilin Rosario wants more playing time and more at-bats - Denver Post

Wilin Rosario is like the spirit animal of Rex Brothers; he also has no control of the strike zone, had early career success, and has now stalled out in Triple-A without a clear role in the majors. Since he's unable to play defense and unable to lay off breaking balls, it's hard to see a path to major league success for Rosario.

Rosario sees the writing on the wall in Denver; he told Patrick Saunders he would be fine with a trade to a club that would play him. But what club will look at his skill set and take on his $3 million salary? Far more likely the Rockies non-tender Rosario this winter. Another club will pick him up; after all, he popped 49 homers in 2012 and 2013. But he's going to have to improve his game to get the playing time he wants.

Jeremy Affeldt, former Rockies reliever, retiring after this season - Associated Press

Normally a reliever with just one year of service with a team is not long remembered. Usually relievers come and go, and unless they pitch like Michelangelo they don't produce long term memories. Rockies fans remember Jeremy Affeldt though, because he was there for 2007. The big year. The year it all came together. He pitched 59 innings to a 3.51 ERA, which would make him about the fourth best reliever on that team. He did his part, as everyone on that team did. This year not a single Rockies reliever with 20 innings has an ERA below 3.51. That is astounding.

It's hard to believe that 2007 was eight years ago. On the one hand, that feels like ages ago; twitter was something birds did, Barack Obama was a senator, and I was still in high school. On the other hand, the memories are immediate and detailed. Listening to Jack and Jerry in my dirt-brown Chevy Blazer; having a mini-heart attack during every Brian Fuentes save opportunity; enjoying the Willy Taveras/Kaz Matsui hijinks; and watching each September game with growing excitement.

That summer I discovered Purple Row. Through most of the summer the team was solid but unexciting, hanging around but not making any moves. As such, the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News (RIP) coverage was typically underwhelming. I wanted more news, more opinion, more discussion. Somehow I stumbled onto this blog, where people with names like Rox Girl and Jabberwocky and The Old Grizzly Bear wrote passionate, knowledgeable, articulate, and funny articles about the team I loved. They used numbers and statistics I hadn't seen before--FIP? WAR?--which made me learn more about the game and its underlying intricacies. Purple Row became a daily visit.

This will be my last regular post at Purple Row. It has been a pleasure sharing my thoughts on the Rockies for the past three years. While the team hasn't been particularly exciting, this community has never wavered. The discussion by readers has always been lively, and the work done by my fellow writers remains superb, even if the names on the masthead have changed over the years (though I think the grizzly bear might still be around).

Thanks for reading y'all. I know I'll be here celebrating when the next 2007 rolls around.