Rockies call up Brothers, DFA Laffey

Rockies call up Brothers, DFA Laffey

DENVER -- Rex Brothers' Saturday was busy one. Before the Rockies afternoon tilt with Atlanta, the left-hander was still en route from El Paso to Denver, hurrying toward Coors Field in preparation for his return to the Major Leagues.

The Rockies called up Brothers on Saturday, giving them four southpaws in the bullpen. In a corresponding move, Colorado designated Aaron Laffey for assignment.

"It'll be really good to see Rex," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "I'm sure that entire clubhouse will feel the same way. He's throwing the ball well. He's in a good place. It's time to get him back."

Brothers spent the 2013 campaign as an integral part of the Rockies' bullpen, producing a 1.74 ERA and 19 saves in 72 appearances. But control issues plagued him the following year, and Brothers labored through the 2014 season with a 5.59 ERA. His strikeout-to-walk ratio was 1.4, compared to 2.1 in 2013.

An up-and-down Spring Training this year landed Brothers at Triple-A Albuquerque, where he again struggled out of the gates. In his first 15 games as the Isotopes' primary setup man, Brothers owned a 7.43 ERA and walked 15 hitters in just 13 1/3 innings.

But the Rockies' former first-round pick has turned it around as of late. Over his previous 17 appearances -- 14 of which have been scoreless outings -- he's surrendered just four earned runs in 15 1/3 frames, and opponents were hitting just .132 off Brothers.

"He's been much more efficient, throwing strikes," Weiss said. "His strike ratio is good. His stuff has never been in question. Even in the spring, his velocity was mid-90s again. His slide was wipeout. It was just the command.

"That's a testament to his stuff. His stuff was still intact. It was just commanding it, and he's commanded it. When he's commanding it, he's an elite Major League pitcher."

Laffey, meanwhile, exits Denver just one day after being promoted. He tossed 2 1/3 innings in the Rockies' 5-3 win on Friday, earning his first Major League win in nearly three years. He heads to the waiver wire for 10 days and could rejoin the Rockies if he clears waivers.

But Colorado's attention now lies with Brothers, who joins fellow southpaws Yohan Flande, Christian Friedrich and Boone Logan in the Colorado bullpen.

"You typically don't design a bullpen with four left-handers, but we're in a different place," Weiss said. "And Flande we're looking at as a long guy, so it's not like we have four matchup lefties out there.

"It's a little bit different, but as long as they get 'em out, we don't care."

Dargan Southard is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.