On Sunday, just as the rain began to fall at Coors Field before the Colorado Rockies and Miami Marlins were set to begin the finale of their three-game series, the Rockies announced that relief pitcher Bryan Shaw was heading to the disabled list with a right calf strain.
The move was merciful, in all honesty. Shaw’s initial season in a Rockies uniform has been brutal, including giving up his first-ever grand slam on Saturday afternoon as Colorado melted down in the seventh and lost to Miami, 6-2.
This will be Shaw’s first-ever appearance on the disabled list … and it couldn’t have come at a better time for a reliever who was booed off the field on Saturday afternoon. With a 3-5 record and 7.57 ERA, Shaw has a 12.96 ERA in the month of June in 11 appearances. In only four of those appearances has he not allowed a run.
He has also given up eight home runs and walked 20 in 35.2 innings of work. Colorado manager Bud Black talked about Shaw in his Sunday pregame press conference inside the Rockies dugout and told Rox Pile and other media members that a lack of consistency on the movement of Shaw’s pitches were one of the biggest reasons for his struggles.
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The other biggest reason for Shaw’s struggle? Location. The cutter isn’t cutting and pitches are ending up over the center of the plate. Those pitches are landing in the seats … and landing Shaw in hot water with the crowd.
To take Shaw’s place on the roster, Yency Almonte was recalled from Triple-A. He was just sent down yesterday as Pat Valaika was recalled. Almonte has appeared in two games and hasn’t allowed an earned run in two innings of work.
It is hoped that Shaw will return from his stint on the disabled list with a clear mind and can return to the form that caused the Rockies to sign him to a three-year deal in the offseason as a part of Colorado’s plan to have a “super bullpen.” So far, that plan has not worked … and Shaw is a big reason for that.
Colorado needs Shaw to return to form. The same people who booed him on Saturday will likely give him a reprieve when he can place his pitches, much like they did when Ian Desmond met a chorus of boos but then turned things around at the plate.
Can Shaw find himself again? Let’s hope so. Colorado’s season and near-term future (thanks to his contract) will be much, much better off if he can.