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Saturday, Apr. 18, 2015

Johnson: Much-needed relief for Brothers

Sunday, July 15, 2012

(Photo)
Colorado Rockies pitcher Rex Brothers spent a little time at home with his family this past week during major league baseball's All-Star break.
(T-G File Photo by Gary Johnson)
There's only one place Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Rex Brothers would rather be during the All-Star break other than playing for the National League in the game -- at home visiting his family.

The former Community, Shelbyville Central,and Lipscomb left-hander had a chance to spend some quality time with his family this past week while taking a break form all the travel and pressure that comes along with being a major league baseball player.

I had a chance to speak with him during his time off and I could tell he cherished those few days.

Less pressure

He's living a dream, playing the game he loved as a young boy while getting paid for doing it -- but with that comes an extremely busy schedule with a lot of travel, not to mention all the stress of having to perform well.

"It's always good to get back home and spend some time with my family," Brothers said. "I just hung out with the family and spent some time with everybody. We did go to the lake one day and I really enjoyed that."

One thing he didn't do that you'd think he might have done was actually watch the All-Star game on Tuesday night.

"When I talked to my roommate (Jordan Pacheco) he said he didn't watch it either," Brothers said.

Pacheco spent a lot of time with Brothers coming up in the minor leagues and is currently the third baseman for the Rockies with one of the top batting averages on the team.

Things have almost been too easy for Brothers since he signed with Colorado in 2009. He had a quick track to the big leagues and his numbers have been impressive.

Clearing the mind

Earlier this season he did hit a bump in the road and was sent down to AAA Colorado Springs for a week or so after a few disappointing outings and a 5.87 ERA to start the season.

"I was a little disappointed and really wasn't expecting it when I was told I was going back down to AAA, but to be honest it was a good thing and something that I really needed to do," Brothers said.

"We were getting ready to head down to Miami and he came and told me that I was going to AAA to pitch for a while. It's not the reason you want to be called into the manager's office, that's for sure."

He said his time back in AAA was to clear his mind more that anything.

"There was no mechanical adjustment at all. It was basically just going back down there and doing what I did that first got me to the big leagues. I was just putting so much pressure on myself," Brothers said.

Back on top

Since he has returned to the major leagues, he's been as dominant as ever.

After a slow start, he had dropped his ERA to 3.66 by the all-star break with 44 strikeouts and 16 walks while posting a 4-2 record with nine holds out the bullpen.

"We're looking to win a lot more games in the second half. We've just got to play more consistent as a team and I think things will be better for us day in and day out," Brothers said.

There will be many ups and down for Brothers throughout his career, but he's shown he has not only the physical skills but the mental capacity to overcome any obstacle that may come his way.

He's shown that ever since he starting play the game as a young boy.

--Gary Johnson is a sports writer for the Times-Gazette. Email him at gjohnson@t-g.com.

Gary Johnson
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