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Latroy Hawkins Newsbeat

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Neyer: Over the hill but still strong on the hill

Hamburger Hill, in Colon’s case.

When the Rockies signed LaTroy Hawkins and said he’€™d be their highest-leverage reliever, we were all like, “Hey, what could go wrong? He’€™s only 41 and hasn’€™t done this job since 2004. And he’€™s got only two seasons in his whole career with more than 14 saves.”

Well, Monday night Hawkins collected his 21st save this season… How does Hawkins do it? Just like [Bartolo] Colon, with lots and lots of fastballs, although Hawkins does throw significantly harder, averaging around 93 miles an hour. And that’€™s the most interesting about him: Hawkins hasn’€™t lost anything off his fastball in a long time now. You’€™re supposed to lose something as you age. That’€™s what they always say, right? But Hawkins threw 93 in 2002 when he was 29, and he throws 93 in 2014 when he’€™s 41. He threw his slider 88 and his curveball 78 in 2004 when he was 31, and he throws his slider 88 and his curveball 78 in 2014 when he’s 41.

One more note about Hawkins ... As you might recall, he began his career as a highly regarded starting pitcher. Except that didn’€™t work out well, at all. After five seasons that included 98 starts and a 6.11 ERA, the Twins finally shifted Hawkins to relief duties, and in 15 years as a fireman—€“ he hasn’€™t started a single game in the last 15 years—€“ he’€™s posted a solid 3.25 ERA. Of course, many failed starters have enjoyed long careers as relievers. But I’€™m not sure many have done it as dramatically as LaTroy Hawkins.

The District Attorney Posted: August 26, 2014 at 02:09 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: bartolo colon, latroy hawkins, mets, rob neyer, rockies

 

 

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