Weiss: Important for Brothers to relax on mound

Weiss: Important for Brothers to relax on mound

MESA, Ariz. -- Rockies lefty reliever Rex Brothers' spring has taken a downward turn in his last two outings.

On Saturday, Brothers gave up two runs on one hit, one walk, a hit batter and a wild pitch during one inning of the Rockies' 18-4 loss to the split-squad Cubs. That performance followed a four-run, four-hit mess in two-thirds of an inning Thursday against the Rangers.

In his first five outings, Brothers limited the opposition to one run and two hits in five innings and resembled his 2013 form, when he finished with a 1.74 ERA. But with the season nearing, Brothers is providing flashbacks to last season, when he had a 5.59 ERA.

Brothers' early spring seemed to have him safely in the bullpen to start the season. But with several pitchers pushing for jobs, it may not be as certain as believed earlier this week. Brothers has Minor League options.

Rockies manager Walt Weiss will have to evaluate how Brothers recovers. Last season, Brothers pressed after some rough outings.

"He's been good -- a lot of positive signs from Rex this spring, but the last couple times out, it's gotten away from him a little bit," Weiss said. "The key for him is just not grinding so much when it starts to get away. Be able to relax and reel it in.

"He's such a competitive guy that sometimes he grinds himself into the dirt. We've just got to get him to relax out there. He'll be out there probably a couple more times."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.