When the Colorado Rockies drafted Rex Brothers in 2009, the team believed it would have a reliever who could help the team soon enough. That time will likely come sometime later in 2011, though relievers like Felipe Paulino and Franklin Morales may force that earlier. Both are blessed with blazing fastballs but have never fully harnessed their control.
But, as Jim Tracy recently told the Denver Post about Brothers averaging nearly two strikeouts per inning:
"We're well aware of that," Tracy said. "I have a machine (computer) sitting right here. I don't just use it to help decorate the office [...] He's continuing to gain valuable experience while we're trying to give these other guys an opportunity to get themselves on track.
Brothers holds a 3.31 ERA in 15 games for the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox. He is allowing a hit per inning, but with 30 strikeouts he's been using his mid-90s fastball and his slider effectively. Tracy went on to say that he'd rather Brothers experience his growing troubles in Colorado Springs than in the majors. You know, because Paulino and the other relievers are just as capable of having those bad experiences, right?
There's also something to be said about keeping Brothers down there longer so he can get as much experience as he can in the non-humidor environment of Security Service Field. Matt Daley is another alternative the Rockies could try before promoting Brothers later this season, but the question is whether hitters have figured out the deception in his delivery.