25. Mike Dunn
The Rockies need Dunn to rediscover the stuff he had in April when he was 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA. If Dunn can become the lock-down lefty specialist the Rockies were envisioning when they signed him in the offseason, it will help the bullpen in numerous ways.
He’s allowed just one run in his last 5.2 innings spanning back to June 23. When he’s on, he’s been on this season. However, in recent weeks, that hasn’t happened enough. That has to change.
24. Pat Valaika
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Bud Black will tell you that he’s a big Pat Valaika fan. After seeing what Valaika has added to the team this season, we have to admit that we’re big fans as well.
The 24-year-old utility player went into the All-Star break on a high note, logging five RBI in Sunday’s win over the Chicago White Sox. He’s hitting .243 on the season with seven homers and 22 RBI. He’s also giving Trevor Story a run for his money as Colorado’s starting shortstop.
23. Adam Ottavino
Nothing would make us happier than for Ottavino to rediscover his form and bring that nasty slider back as a shutdown pitch. The numbers in both June and July have been over 11.00 ERA and the late June meltdown in Los Angeles is still pretty fresh in everyone’s minds.
Like Dunn, if Ottavino can find his form, Colorado’s bullpen improves dramatically.
22. Scott Oberg
While Dunn and Ottavino have struggled, Oberg has been one of Colorado’s pleasant surprises. The numbers may not scream it, but he’s earned the trust of Bud Black in important situations. He’s also throwing strikes a career-high 65.5 percent of the time he’s on the mound.
He hasn’t pitched since a July 6 appearance against the Reds when he gave up three hits and three runs. Here’s hoping that was just a glitch.
21. Tyler Anderson
A knee issue has plagued Anderson all season and the Rockies are hopeful that arthroscopic surgery will fix the issue. The southpaw is due back around the start of August, but is that the main reason his ERA has ballooned to 6.11 this year? Maybe it’s the knee. Maybe it’s the home run as he has surrendered 15 in 63.1 innings.
If nothing else, he learned how to hack off Clayton Kershaw this year, so that’s something.