The Colorado Rockies bullpen will look very different when Wednesday night’s road game against the Pittsburgh Pirates unfolds.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Colorado Rockies called up Jairo Diaz from Triple-A Albuquerque and placed closer Wade Davis on the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain. Additionally, Tyler Anderson was placed on the 60-day injured list with a left knee chondral defect.
Losing Davis out of the closer role will change how the back end of the Rockies bullpen will play out in late, close games. The 33-year-old Davis is the only Rockies reliever to record a save this season, totaling seven in all. He has not pitched since a May 14 outing in Boston when he threw one inning of one-hit ball and earned the save.
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Diaz is an interesting candidate as well. He is 1-0 this season with a team-leading six saves for Albuquerque. He’s allowed just 12 hits in 20 innings and has struck out 22 batters while posting a 0.90 WHIP.
The 27-year-old right-hander has appeared in 30 Major League games, including 25 with the Rockies. He has not made an appearance on an MLB mound since July 24, 2017, when he surrendered two hits and three runs in an inning of work at St. Louis and was optioned back to Triple-A the next day.
Diaz, who has been clocked as high as 103 mph with his fastball, has been dealing with personal tragedy recently and this excellent article from Nick Groke in The Athletic covered it very well.
So what does this injury news mean for the Rockies? First, Davis will likely be out for more than just 10 days with an oblique strain. Colorado’s bullpen will need to rearrange its role and see Oberg or Estevez (likely) step into the role and be forced to flourish. Davis has been wobbly at times this season as the closer, but still holds a 2.45 ERA and has converted on all seven save opportunities this season.
We will update this article with more news after Colorado manager Bud Black meets with the media in Pittsburgh later today. Stay tuned for that.
UPDATE: According to a tweet from Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post, Black says that Oberg will be the team’s primary closer.