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Rockies bolster left side of 'pen with Brothers

Rockies bolster left side of 'pen with Brothers

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Rockies bolster left side of 'pen with Brothers
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rockies purchased the contract of left-handed relief pitching prospect Rex Brothers from Triple-A Colorado Springs before Saturday's game against the Giants and placed reliever Matt Daley on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.

Brothers, 23, a supplemental first-round choice (34th overall) in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, was 3-2 with a 2.89 ERA in 25 relief appearances covering 28 innings. Brothers led Pacific Coast League relievers in strikeouts. Brothers, who struck out 45 and walked 15, doubles the number of left-handers in the Rox's bullpen.

Manager Jim Tracy wants Brothers' initial appearances to come in "a couple of softer situations," but eventually Tracy anticipates receiving a lift from Brothers, who challenges the strike zone with his fastball and has a slider that could become an outstanding pitch.

"If this guy evolves the way we think he's capable of evolving and with the job Matt Reynolds is doing, it could create in my mind as dynamic a left side of the bullpen as there is in the game," Tracy said.

The Rockies delayed in bringing up Brothers, out of Lipscomb University in Nashville. Brothers was so dominant early, not giving up a run in his first 10 appearances, at Triple-A that the Rockies chose to wait until he was tested with some adversity. A few outings in which he didn't retire the first hitter, and Daley's injury, completed the process.

"I got lackadaisical a couple of times with the first batter and got a runner on, things like that," Brothers said. "It was a matter of locking it in earlier and not going through those mental swings when I wasn't really dialed in at that moment.

"You've got to have failure before you can have success. Any athlete knows that. It's a learning process. I plan on learning throughout my whole career."

Brothers excelled against Major Leaguers such as the Rangers' Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz, who were in Triple-A on injury rehab assignments, and had a strong Spring Training. He fanned reigning National League Most Valuable Player Joey Votto in a key at-bat during a Cactus League game against the Reds. Pitching coach Bob Apodaca said Brothers still needs to refine his slider and use it to both sides of the plate, but his fearlessness gives him favorable odds when it comes to handling the ups and downs in the Majors.

Brothers arrives with confidence.

"You like to face those guys and compete with those guys, because you obviously know who they are," Brothers said. "It's fun. For me, that was why you play the games."

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