With the bullpen, I decided at the beginning to have 3 right-handers and 2 left-handers total, so I was waiting for the results of closer to figure out how many of each you guys (and myself) could choose. Since southpaw Brian Fuentes won the closer race, we will picking one more lefty for the Rock Star pen this week. Lefty reliever is possibly the weakest position in Rockies history as you will soon see, surprisingly even weaker than second base. Primarily this is because, aside from Fuentes, most recognizable relievers in Rockies history have been rightys. Here are the five choices (including one holdover from closer) for the LOOGY on the Rock Star team.
Bruce Ruffin (1993-97)
Bruce Ruffin was signed as a free agent from the Brewers before the Rockies inaugural season in 1993. He had primarily been a starting pitcher before his Rockies career, but was converted midway through the 1993 season. In his five years with the Rockies, Ruffin was the primary closer for three of those years. His career record was 17-18 with a 3.84 ERA and 60 saves. Ruffin retired from baseball following not making the 1998 team.
Chuck McElroy (1998-99)
Veteran reliever Chuck McElroy was acquired from Arizona during the 1997 expansion draft for pinch hitter Harvey Pulliam. McElroy spent 1 and a half season wearing purple pinstripes and was a very effective reliever for the first year, but blew up in his second season in Denver. He finished his Rockies career with a career record of 9-5 with a 4.13 ERA in 119 appearances. McElroy was traded to the Mets along with Darryl Hamilton for three players, including outfielder Brian McRae, that accumulated a total of 20 games played for Colorado.
Gabe White (2000-01)
Gabe White was acquired from Cincinnati at the beginning of the 2000 season for reliever Manny Aybar. White spent nearly two full seasons in Denver with a fair amount of success, mainly in his first season. He had a career record of 12-9 with a 4.00 ERA to go along with 5 saves in 136 appearances. Following the 2001 season White along with Luke Hudson was traded back to the Reds for Dennys Reyes and Pokey Reese.
Mike Myers (2000-01)
Mike Myers was acquired from Milwaukee for longtime Rockies reliever Curtis Leskanic following the 1999 season. Myers also spent 2 seasons in Denver and had more successful first season than second, although his drop off was not nearly as dramatic as the prior two entries. He had a career Rockies record of 2-4 with a 2.74 ERA in 151 appearances. He was the very definition of a LOOGY because in his 151 games, he only pitched 85.1 innings. Following the 2001 season, Myers was traded to Arizona for prospects J.D. Closser and Jack Cust.
Franklin Morales (2007-11)
Franklin Morales was signed by the Rockies as an amateur free agent in 2002. Morales was a highly decorated minor league prospect ranking as high #8 overall in the minors in 2008. In his first two abbreviated seasons, Morales was a starter, but his final 2+ seasons were strictly out of the bullpen. In his 4+ year career in Denver, Morales ended with a record of 7-11 with a 4.83 ERA to go along with 10 saves in 102 games. Morales was traded to Boston midway through the 2011 season for a PTBNL or cash (still undecided).
Honorable Mention: Joe Beimel, Javier Lopez, Mike Munoz (sorry, Rosenort), Lance Painter
Voting for the Rock Star left handed reliever can commence immediately and voting may continue until Saturday at 4PM Eastern. As always, your votes are highly encouraged and appreciated. Thanx for playing along.