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.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rock Stars - Closer

I had intended on putting up the outfielders yesterday, but with 15 candidates I wanted to give the full 6 days of voting.  So I will feature the outfield next Sunday and we can knock out a closer this week.  With relievers, I am going to do something a little different.  I will start out with a closer limited to only closers obviously.  Then after the closer is selected I will group the runners-up along with non-closing relievers and we will choose 1 righty and 1 lefty over two weeks.  Closer should be one of the more competitive positions available.  I couldn't narrow it down to 5, so here are your 6 candidates for the closer of the Rock Star Team.

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.

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.

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.

Jose Jimenez (2000-03)
In the 1999 offseason, Jose Jimenez was acquired from the Cardinals in a multi-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.

Brian Fuentes (2002-08)
In 2001, Brian Fuentes was acquired from Seattle as one of the three prospects traded for Jeff Cirillo.  He definitely turned out to be the gem of that trade.  He served as the primary closer for the final four years of his seven year Rockies career making the All Star team in three of those years.  He had a career record of 16-26 with a 3.38 ERA and 115 saves for Colorado.  He was signed as a free agent by the Angels following the 2008 season.

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.

Honorable Mention: Dave Veres, Shawn Chacon, Rafael Betancourt

Voting for the Rock Star closer can begin immediately and will run through Saturday at 4PM Eastern.  I am really looking forward to this vote, because I think I know who will win but I'm not positive and there are some really good choices here.  Your votes, as always, are highly encouraged and appreciated.


SpastikMooss said...

I was tempted to pick Ruffin, and I probably would've thrown a vote Chacon's way if he was more than an HM (he was a favorite of mine for who knows why lol). But I had to go Fuentes.

Unknown said...

Brian Fuentes hands down