Rockies enjoy stability in bullpen

Rockies enjoy stability in bullpen

Rockies enjoy stability in bullpen
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There's plenty of attention to be paid to the competition for spots in the Rockies' rotation this spring. That's fine with the members of the bullpen because, as far as they're concerned, they're primed and ready to go.

Rockies manager Jim Tracy has much to decide when it comes to his roster, but he knows he can rely on relievers like Matt Belisle, Rex Brothers and Rafael Betancourt to hold down the back end of the bullpen. The three have a combined 18 seasons of Major League service, seven with Colorado.

"I feel comfortable with anybody who is in our 'pen," Belisle said. "It's such a unique, good little group down there that has to sit together through those games. We all have the mentality of, 'Just give us the ball and we'll take care of any job you need from us for that day.' There's no ego, there's no selfishness, and that goes a very long way."

There will be some shifting in the bullpen pieces, though, as Betancourt -- who has served primarily as a setup man -- moves into the closer role this season. He's filled that role previously, having recorded at least one save in each of his nine big league seasons, including last year when closer Huston Street was injured. But now, with Street gone, the job belongs to Betancourt.

Brothers made 48 appearances in his rookie season with the Rockies last year, posting a 1-2 record with a 2.88 ERA. The southpaw struck out 59 hitters in 40 2/3 innings.

"As a bullpen, that's your job, to get in there and finish off the game," Brothers said. "Anytime anyone is in there, we're all pulling for him. Every day brings a new challenge and whatever our roles may be, we're all pulling for each other."