Jun 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) warms up in the bullpen in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. The Rockies defeated the the Dodgers 5-4 in the tenth inning. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
The Colorado Rockies have placed Adam Ottavino on the 15-day disabled list with what they are calling “right triceps inflammation.”
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How should you feel about the Colorado Rockies’ most recent move to place stud closer Adam Ottavino on the 15-day disabled list? Well, first (and foremost), speculation is pretty worthless, since we don’t know what’s going on and there’s really no point to it.
But, without the baseless speculation or fear-mongering, it’s still valuable to break down the good and bad based on what we know from Denver Post sports writer Nick Groke and others this afternoon.
So let’s look at some potential positives, some potential negatives, and some thoughts on Ottavino’s DL trip which, at this point, is still only a 15-day timeout.
We’ll all know soon enough.
"“Hopefully we can nip this in the bud now early in the season,” said Ottavino, who is awaiting the final results of an MRI scan he took Monday. “It’s not easy to wait around. But facts are better than anything I can create in my mind.”"
Having all the facts is a good thing. For better or worse, the issue won’t linger without at least being diagnosed, and we will all know the course of action soon enough, regardless of what the problem may be.
Ottavino is durable.
Ottavino hasn’t been on the disabled list since 2011, when he was a minor leaguer. Obviously, a clean health history doesn’t preclude a player from getting injured, but health (and fitness, and arm management) all have been on Ottavino’s side in the past, which depending on his workout regimen, is a good omen for his future, regardless of what the issue may be that landed him on the DL here.
The Rockies have depth.
Obviously, Ottavino is the team’s best reliever by far, but Rafael Betancourt and John Axford haven’t exactly been bad. Boone Logan, Christian Friedrich, and Brooks Brown have all shown flashes of great work. And Jorge Rondon (more on him in a second), Tommy Kahnle, Scott Oberg and Jairo Diaz have all shown flashes of power offerings in their big league and minor league careers.
The point is, the Rockies have depth this year in the bullpen more than they’ve had in other seasons, and while replacing Ottavino – even for just 15 days – will hurt, it could be a lot worse.
Jorge Rondon’s been throwing well.
No one is saying this guy is going to replace Ottavino, but Rondon has allowed just one run on two hits in 6.2 innings pitched in Albuquerque thus far this season, and he told the Denver Post:
"“My fastball is good right now. And my command feels right,” said Rondon, who was on the Rockies lineup sheet Sunday before a rained out game against the Giants. He wasn’t officially activated until Monday."
You’ve gotta go with the hot hand sometimes, so it’s worth it to give Rondon the shot if the Rockies believe him to be the freshest and most effective at this point in the season.
It’s an arm issue.
This isn’t Jordan Lyles breaking his non-throwing hand in a freak injury and the team knowing he’ll be healthy and strong and fresh once he recovers, as what happened last year to the starter. This is a throwing arm injury, and even just some unusual soreness raises a red flag on some level.
Will this linger?
Assuming it’s just some general soreness or some kind of weakness issue, Ottavino’s own quote caught my eye: “Hopefully we can nip this in the bud now early in the season,” he told Groke. “I didn’t feel like myself.” I mean… you can’t read too much into that, but it’s hard not to do just that.
What if they can’t nip it in the bud? Are multiple DL stints all year on the way? Is this something that will potentially derail his whole season? Is this a potential Corey-Dickerson-plantar-fasciitis-like lingering problem? Am I getting worked up over absolutely nothing? (Yes, maybe, probably, hopefully.)
The Rockies lose their best reliever.
I know, this team has (nominal) depth, but Ottavino was absolutely lights out and had been since September 7th of last year – the day he last allowed a run. Depth is fine, but that depth doesn’t get any more quality than Ottavino, and for at least a few weeks, the club will be without him.
So, this exercise is just a quick word vomit on the initial reactions to Ottavino’s DL stint, and all of this could end up being irrelevant. Maybe the best-case scenario will happen, maybe the worst-case scenario will come into play, or most likely, something in between will occur.
Either way, there’s (a) no point in assuming the worst and believing the season to be over now, but also, (b) there’s also no point in lying to yourself about this not being a big deal for the Rockies to lose their best reliever for at least a couple of weeks.
What do YOU think about Ottavino heading to the DL? Is it here we go again, Rockies, or just a minor bump in the road about which we’ll soon enough know the extent?
UPDATE, 5:42 pm MT
This is a great point: