8/24/2013 12:45 A.M. ET
Weiss confident in 'pen, even without Betancourt
By Steve Dorsey / Special to MLB.com
MIAMI -- The latest setback for Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt has opened the door for left-hander Rex Brothers, who will assume the closer role following another Betancourt injury.
Betancourt exited Thursday night's 5-4 loss to the Phillies with what has initially been diagnosed as a sprained right elbow. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday after the Rockies return home from their current 10-game East Coast road trip.
Betancourt has already had two stints on the disabled list this season, so Weiss is confident that Brothers and the rest of the bullpen can make a smoother than normal transition.
"I love Rex in the game, whether it's the seventh, eighth or ninth inning," Weiss said Friday before the Rockies' game against the Marlins. "It doesn't matter to me exactly where he pitches. He's going to protect the lead regardless of the inning. I think he's one of the more talented left-handed relievers in the game."
Weiss acknowledged that Betancourt's latest setback will force him to alter his normal approach late in games.
"We've got some options, but we might have to be a little more creative than when Raffy's around," Weiss said. "We might give our starters a little longer leash, but you still want to have the mentality to protect our starters, but we've also got to use common sense, too. There's times when you have to protect the bullpen and manage accordingly."
Brothers was 2-0 with a 1.51 ERA and 11 saves in 12 chances entering the three-game series at Marlins Park.
Adam Ottavino and Brothers each pitched a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts in Friday's 3-2 win over the Marlins.
Brothers has mixed emotions about new role
MIAMI -- Rex Brothers had mixed emotions as he stood in front of his locker at Marlins Park before Friday night's game.
Brothers is looking forward to the opportunity to assume the role of closer again, but the Rockies' left-hander also feels bad that he's been given that chance because of an injury to Rafael Betancourt.
Brothers looked comfortable in the Rockies' 3-2 win over the Marlins on Friday, pitching a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts for his 12th save in 13 chances.
"It won't be the same," Brothers said of the veteran Betancourt's absence in the bullpen. "He's meant a lot to me ever since I've been here. Hopefully, he can rejoin us soon. It's tough not seeing him down there. He sits in the same spot every day, and it's definitely not the same without him, just the small stuff and conversations I have with him."
Right-handed reliever Matt Belisle expressed similar sentiments about a bullpen without Betancourt.
"It crushes me," Belisle said of Betancourt's latest injury. "He's been such a close friend and mentor to me for so long. It just wasn't good yesterday. Losing him, with all the hardships he's had already is what's really tough. I'm feeling more for him than feeling what it is for us. He's sort of been the quintessential veteran. The guy's been doing it for a long time. He's a good teammate, the ultimate competitor and a true professional."
Belisle said that Betancourt has handled his latest setback like a true pro.
"It's a hard blow. It was so tough yesterday, but right now he's got smiles and saying, 'Hey, it's like my job, whatever happened yesterday, turn the page.' But deep down, I know it's really getting him," Belisle said.
Brothers, who has filled the closer's role before, said his approach basically will be the same as when he enters a game in the seventh or eighth inning.
"It's not a tremendous adjustment," Brothers said. "It's the same basic principles, competing in the strike zone and not getting yourself in trouble. Your team has played eight innings in front of you, so you want to come in there and put the game in the book as quickly as possible. I enjoy it, I do. I like to be out there and compete no matter when it is, but that [ninth] inning, there's something about it."
Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.