Rockies move LaTroy Hawkins out of closer role for now
Apr. 13, 2015
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — LaTroy Hawkins is being moved out of Colorado's closer role for now, though manager Walt Weiss isn't ruling out the right-hander returning to ninth-inning duties.
Weiss spoke with Hawkins on Monday and called it a "breather" for the 42-year-old, who is planning to retire after this season.
"We'll do that for the time being," Weiss said. "We'll mix and match. We have some pieces that can pitch late. The stuff is still very much intact with Hawk. We'll give him a little breather."
Hawkins blew a save in a 6-5 loss to the Cubs on Sunday at Coors Field, surrendering a two-run homer to former Rockies player Dexter Fowler with two outs in the ninth.
He will be eager to get another chance, and noted this isn't the first time he's switched jobs.
"My stuff is there. I'm making some not-so-good pitches, falling behind in the count," Hawkins said. "It's a recipe for disaster. It's nothing I haven't been through before. I've always risen back to the top. You know what, I've just got to make better pitches."
Weiss said Hawkins could pitch in a different role in the next couple of days. He expected to use Rafael Betancourt in a potential save situation Monday against the San Francisco Giants.
"I'll be ready every inning," the 39-year-old pitcher said. "I have to come here and work hard every day. That's my mindset every time. I've always been like that, even when I was in Cleveland and there were games I didn't know what inning I was going to pitch. We have the guys who can do the job. It's a good group of guys. ... It's a long season."
Colorado exercised a $2.25 million option for Hawkins this season, his 21st in the majors. He went 4-3 with a 3.31 ERA and 23 saves in 26 chances for the Rockies last year.