A place where Colorado Rockies baseball card collectors (all 3 of us) can waste some time reading about our favorite sport. The Rockies and their cards will be the primary focus, but I like to go off on tangents as well so anything and everything baseball related may be covered here.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Rock Stars - Right Handed Relievers

Today is the start of multiple-pick positions.  I honestly don't know how this is going to work, but I hope it works well.  People often say that if a reliever is left handed, all he needs is a pulse and he'll get a big league job.  That is somewhat true (well not really, but go with me), but right handed relievers actually do need to be good in today's game.  With most starters going no more than 6 innings, the need for a large specialized bullpen is very high.  With that being said, let's finish filling the Rock Star bullpen with 3 right handed relievers.  Since I am choosing three from this category, I decided to triple the candidates as well.  Here are your 15 candidates, enjoy your read.

Darren Holmes (1993-97)
Darren Holmes was the original closer for the expansion Rockies after being selected in the expansion draft from the Brewers.  Holmes also did something you don't usually see from a reliever, he hit a home run in 1997 off the Expos' Carlos Perez.  In his five year Rockies career, Holmes was the primary closer for two of those years.  His career record was 23-13 with a 4.42 ERA to go along with 46 saves.  Holmes joined the New York Yankees as a free agent following the 1997 season.

Steve Reed (1993-97, 2003-04)
Steve Reed was selected from the Giants in the third round of the 1992 Expansion Draft.  Reed would prove to be a vital part of the Rockies bullpen over the first five years (plus two more later) of their existence.  In his seven seasons in Colorado, Reed put together a record of 33-29 with a 3.63 ERA and 15 saves in 463 games.  Following the 1997 season, Reed re-joined the Giants as a free agent and bounced around the league before re-signing in Colorado in the 2002 off season.

Curt Leskanic (1993-99)
Curt Leskanic was selected from the Twins in the third round of the 1992 Expansion Draft.  Leskanic shifted between AAA and the majors his first two years as a starter before switching to the bullpen for good in 1995.  In his seven seasons with the Rockies, Leskanic compiled a record of 31-20 with a 4.92 ERA and 20 saves in 356 games.  Following the 1999 season, Leskanic was traded to Milwaukee for reliever Mike Myers.

Jerry DiPoto (1997-2000)
Jerry DiPoto was acquired from the New York Mets in a trade for Armando Reynoso in the 1996 offseason.  DiPoto, the current GM of the Angels, served as closer for two years of his four year Rockies career.  He had a career record of 12-12 with a 4.21 ERA to go along with 36 saves.  He retired following the 2000 season which was split between Colorado and AAA Colorado Springs.

Mike DeJean (1997-2000, 2005-06)
Mike DeJean was acquired in the 1995 offseason from the New York Yankees for catcher Joe Girardi.  In two separate stints with the Rockies, DeJean racked up a record of 17-12 with a 4.70 ERA and 4 saves in 264 appearances.  At the end of 2001 Spring Training, he was traded to Milwaukee in a multi-player deal which garnered three relievers that didn't do much in Colorado.  He rejoined the Rockies for two years in 2005 after his release from the Mets.

Dave Veres (1998-99)
Dave Veres was acquired during the 1997 offseason from the Montreal Expos for outfielder Terry Jones.  Veres spent two seasons in Colorado and served as the primary closer for his final season in 1998.  Overall for the Rockies, he had a record of 7-9 with a 3.99 ERA and 39 saves in 136 games.  In the 1999 offseason, Veres was traded to St. Louis in a seven player deal that brought our next candidate to the Rockies.

Jose Jimenez (2000-03)
In the 1999 offseason, Jose Jimenez was acquired from the Cardinals in a seven player deal that sent Darryl Kile to St. Louis.  Although he was a starter with the Cardinals, Jimenez immediately took over as closer in  2000 and kept the job for his entire 4 year Rockies career.  He had a career record of 15-23 with a 4.13 ERA and 102 saves including a Rockies record 41 in 2002.  He left via free agency for Cleveland following the 2003 season.

Justin Speier (2001-03)
Justin Speier, son of former big leaguer Chris Speier, was acquired off waivers from the Mets in mid-2001.  He immediately became a useful member of the Rockies bullpen.  Over nearly three seasons with Colorado, Speier put together a record of 12-5 with a 4.04 ERA and 10 saves in 177 appearances.  Following the 2003 season, he was traded to Toronto in a three-way deal for starting pitcher Joe Kennedy from Tampa Bay.

David Cortes (2005-06)
David Cortes was signed as a free agent in the 2004 off season following his release from Detroit.  He proved to be a surprisingly good addition to the young Rockies bullpen.  In his two seasons in Denver, Cortes had a record of 5-1 with a 4.17 ERA and 2 saves in 80 games.  Following the 2006 season, Cortes left the Rockies via free agency and returned to the Mexican League.

Ryan Speier (2005-09)
Ryan Speier, no relation to Justin, was signed as an amateur free agent by the Rockies in 2001.  After steadily climbing the minor league ranks, he joined the big league club in 2005 and remained for three of the next four seasons.  He missed the 2006 season due to shoulder surgery.  In his 3+ seasons in Colorado, Speier had a record of 7-3 with a 3.99 ERA in 90 appearances.  Following the 2009 season, Speier left the Rockies via free agency and joined Washington.

Manny Corpas (2006-10)
Manny Corpas was signed as an international free agent by the Rockies in 1999 as a 16 year old, although he didn't join the minors until 2002.  Despite a rather nondescript minor league career, Corpas continually climbed and turned it on in the majors.  In his 5 seasons in Denver, Corpas had a record of 12-16 with a 3.93 ERA and 34 saves in 280 games.  Prior to the 2011 season, Corpas joined Texas as a free agent but missed the season due to injury.

Taylor Buchholz (2007-10)
Starting pitcher Taylor Buchholz was acquired from the Astros along with Willy Taveras for starter Jason Jennings.  He was almost immediately converted to the bullpen in Colorado.  He was soon a very valuable set up man, but Tommy John surgery forced him to miss the entire 2009 and part of the 2010 season.  In his 3 years with the Rockies, Buchholz had a record of 13-11 with a 3.44 ERA and 1 save in 111 games.  Midway through the 2010 season, he was placed on waivers and joined Toronto.

Huston Street (2009-11)
In the 2008 offseason, Street was acquired along with Carlos Gonzalez from Oakland for Rockies superstar Matt Holliday.  The deal obviously turned into quite a steal for the Rockies and Street was a big part of that.  He served as the primary closer his entire three season career in Denver.  He had a career record of 9-9 with a 3.50 ERA and 84 saves.  In the 2011 offseason, Street was traded to San Diego for minor league pitching prospect Nick Schmidt.

Matt Belisle (2009-Present)
Matt Belisle was acquired from the Reds as a free agent during the 2008 offseason.  After splitting his first season between AAA and the major league club, Belisle has firmly ensconced himself in the Colorado bullpen.  As of 2011, Belisle has a record of 20-10 with a 3.46 ERA with 1 save in 174 games.  Belisle recently had his contract extended through the 2013 season with an option for 2014.  (maybe he will get a card by then).

Rafael Betancourt (2009-Present)
Rafael Betancourt was acquired from Cleveland at the 2009 trade deadline for minor league pitcher Connor Graham.  He proved to be a shrewd acquisition that helped the Rockies earn the Wild Card that year.  As of 2011, Betancourt has a record of 10-2 with a 3.00 ERA with 10 saves in 172 games.  For the upcoming season, Betancourt has taken over the closer role and received a contract extension through 2013 with a 2014 option.

Honorable Mention: Scott Dohmann, Ramon Ramirez, Julian Tavarez, Chin-Hui Tsao

I had to use my Quarry Cards for the last two because they have never had a Rockies card issued, although Betancourt is on the checklist for Series 2 this year and Belisle could get an Update card.  Anyway, voting for the right handed portion of the bullpen can begin immediately.  For this round you may select 3 pitchers (actually you can select more or less, but try to stick with three).  Voting will continue until Saturday afternoon at 4PM Eastern.  As always, your votes are highly encouraged and greatly appreciated.

1 comment:

night owl said...

I'm glad I can vote for more than one, because this one's difficult.