Denver, CO – As the Colorado Rockies 2012 season grows closer, let’s make some predictions for the upcoming season. We will explore aspects from the pitching rotation to individual performances and expectations.
Now let’s take a look at the Rockies bullpen. With major changes during the off season, trading Huston Street, and Rafael Betancourt taking over the closers role, what new names will step up and set up Rafael for success? Matt Belisle continues to show he will take the ball whenever called upon. Belisle took the ball 74 times last year and was the strongest pitcher out of the bullpen if needed for set up or for a long reliever. He will continue to take the ball when needed but needs to take less innings this year for the bullpen to work well. Rex Brothers will act as their main lefty out of the pen. With a good fastball hitting 95-96, Brothers will continue to be an important piece against left handed hitters. Matt Reynolds and Christian Friedrich should help from the left side as well.
Other potential bullpen pitchers could be Jamie Moyer if he doesn’t make the starting 5 as is the case with Esmil Rogers. Rogers has shown signs of brilliance but has to work on spotting his fastball. Coming over in the trade for Ubaldo Jimenez, Alex White will need to sew up a bullpen spot or will be sent to AAA to begin the season. Another surprise in spring training has been Stephen Dodson, a non-roster invitee. He has shown a good array of pitches and seemingly has secured a roster spot.
Many of the other spots are still up in the air as we get closer to opening day.
Next Up – Offense in part 3. Look for the Rockies to score a bunch of runs this year.