If you've watched the Colorado Rockies at all, at any point during the season, you know the bullpen has been downright awful. There is no way to sugarcoat it; the boys in the 'pen have been dreadful. Just last night, the bullpen allowed a run charged to starter Christian Bergman on a wild pitch from Christian Friedrich, Rex Brothers walked the bases loaded and Adam Ottavino gave up the go-ahead grand slam to lose the game 5-2. The one pitcher who's been solid all season didn't get to the bump. LaTroy Hawkins.
Hawkins has been a leader on the team since he got back to Colorado this year. Not only with his play on the field, but his upstanding professionalism in every facet of being a pro ball player. That professionalism, as always, comes from experience, and boy howdy does Hawk have plenty of that. This year is his twentieth season in the pros, 15 of them as a reliever, for 10 teams.
His career as a starter was — at best — poor, but since his move into the bullpen in the 2000 season, he's been stellar. In his bullpen career, Hawk has posted a record of 44-48 with a 3.29 ERA in almost 900 games. He has 122 saves, a .256 batting average against, a WHIP of 1.262 and a K/BB ratio of 2.48. 15 years of supreme pitching should be more celebrated than it is.
This season has been even better for LaTroy Hawkins, despite pitching half of his games in Coors Field, being 41 years of age and being surrounded by incompetent relievers. He's 2-2 on the year with 21 saves in 47 games while putting up a 2.74 ERA, a .232 batting average against, a WHIP of 1.130 and a K/BB ratio of 2.55.
Hawk is one of the bright spots in an otherwise pitiful pitching rotation for the Colorado Rockies. LaTroy Hawkins should be commended for his great stats, but also the leadership he has provided for a team that could really use some can't be overlooked.
No matter the uniform he's put on, Hawkins always went hard on the mound and has been a guy to look up to in the clubhouse. Luckily for Rockies fans, he'll most likely be back next year for another run. We, as fans of baseball, should be exhilarated to see year number 21 for LaTroy Hawkins.
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