Herges moved out of setup role
Reliever hopes loss of seventh-inning job is temporary
CHICAGO -- Rockies right-hander Matt Herges said his recent struggles are more of a "hiccup" than a slump. However it's defined, he graciously accepted being moved out of the role of protecting leads in the seventh inning, which was announced by manager Clint Hurdle on Saturday.
Herges, who lost a 4-2 lead in the seventh inning of the Rockies' 5-4 loss to the White Sox on Friday night, is 0-3 with three blown saves and a 7.20 ERA in his past 10 appearances.
"That defined seventh inning is not going to be available to me," Herges said. "I had three in a row good ones, but last night, my ball got up with a two-run lead. It's bigger than it might be if we were up by eight runs. I don't take it as a demotion. I take it as trying to win games.
"If 'Skip' wants to move me to a different role, and that's what he thinks will win games for us, then I'm all for it. It's not something you ask for. You don't hope to get tapped on the shoulder and have to come to his office. But he's the skipper and I'm an employee. I'm going to do what I've always been doing, and hopefully the results will start coming."
Hurdle said he's looking to work right-hander Luis Vizcaino, who has made three appearances since returning from a right shoulder strain, toward the end of the game. The Rockies signed him to a two-year, $.7.5 million contract as a setup man. Hurdle also said right-handers Jason Grilli and Ryan Speier, and left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, could get some of the work that Herges had been receiving.
"It's not the first time we've done it," Hurdle said. "It's not the first time it's happened to him. This will give him a chance to pitch different innings. The command has been an issue. It just hasn't been as consistent as it is when he's on."
Another possibility is Manuel Corpas, the former closer who will pitch more important innings if he can regain the consistency on his fastball and slider that he showed last season.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.