Colorado Rockies shake up bullpen with Wade Davis DFA

The Colorado Rockies made a big shake-up in their bullpen on Saturday before meeting the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field.

During his daily Zoom call with the media on Saturday afternoon, Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black announced that the team has designated relief pitcher and former closer Wade Davis for assignment.

The departure of Davis brings to a not-so-glorious end to the “super bullpen” experiment of 2018 that saw Colorado GM Jeff Bridich sign Davis, Bryan Shaw, and Jake McGee to lucrative contracts. Shaw and McGee were let go by the team before the shortened 2020 season began in July and Davis has suffered through a sore shoulder and poor pitching this year, giving up nine hits and 10 runs in 4.1 innings of work (20.77 ERA).

Davis was perhaps the lone bright spot of the “super bullpen,” and that was for one season. He recorded 43 saves for the Rockies as they advanced to the 2018 National League Division Series. However, an 8.65 ERA (including an 11.10 ERA in 29 games at Coors Field) made 2019 a disastrous year for Davis as the Rockies struggled to a 71-91 mark.

As Nick Groke of The Athletic pointed out in this tweet, Shaw, McGee, and Davis signed for a combined $106 million and the Rockies received -0.4 bWAR and 0.6 fWAR during their combined tenure in the Mile High City.

“We talked to Wade earlier today,” Black said. “I’m assuming that Wade is going to forge on and play next year and in the coming years.

“I don’t think any of us envisioned this happening at this juncture, but it did. Wade, in 2018, led the National League in saves and was a big part of our playoff team,” Black continued. “He was a great presence on our team and a great mentor for a lot of our younger pitchers.”

After being activated from the injured list, Davis appeared in successive games against the Dodgers on Thursday and Friday night in Denver. In a combined 1.2 innings, he surrendered five runs and six hits (27.00 ERA).

Davis finishes his time with Colorado with a 6.49 ERA in 112.1 innings pitched. He also will end with a FIP of 4.73 and ERA+ of 76.

Of course, with the Davis move, the Rockies have an open spot on their active roster. It has been rumored that the Rockies will promote reliever AJ Ramos in another chapter to his attempted comeback from 2018 shoulder surgery. However, nothing official has been released yet.

Next: Why Colorado reliever Daniel Bard should be the NL Comeback Player of the Year

We will update this story below when we have more news and roster moves.

UPDATE: The rumor about Ramos is true as the Rockies have called him up from the alternate training site.

The move starts a new chapter with the Rockies for Ramos, who will turn 34 on Sunday. Ramos has not pitched in Major League Baseball since 2018 when he went 2-2 with a 6.14 ERA with the New York Mets. After undergoing shoulder surgery that year, he has attempted comebacks with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs but never latched on with the teams on a long-term basis.

Colorado signed him earlier this month and sent him to the alternate training site to get a closer look at his arsenal. Needing a fresh arm with no remaining off days and 10 games left in the season, the Rockies will take a chance on catching lightning in a bottle in the same manner the team did with Daniel Bard, who has become one of the best comeback stories in recent MLB seasons.

Additionally, the Rockies swapped relievers Jesus Tinoco (sending him to the alternate training site) and Antonio Santos (who has pitched in 5.1 innings over two games for the Rockies this season).