Colorado Rockies: Bud Black gives injury updates on Nolan Arenado, three others

Sep 2, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) singles in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 2, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) singles in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Rockies had four players that ended the 2020 season on the injured list that are still with the team and Bud Black gave updates on them on Wednesday.

Among other things addressed with the media, including Rox Pile, in a nearly hour long Q&A, Colorado  Rockies manager Bud Black gave updates on all four players that ended the season on the injured list and are still on the team. They are Peter Lambert (Tommy John surgery), Scott Oberg (blood clots in his throwing arm), Jon Gray (shoulder), and Nolan Arenado (shoulder).

Black indicated that for Arenado, he exchanged texts with him after he won the Gold Glove Award a few weeks ago to check in with him to see how he was recovering and Arenado said that he was doing well.

"“Nolan is in great shape as far as the shoulder [is concerned] and where it is health-wise,” said Black. “I think I saw where Nolan posted some video of him[self] hitting and doing some things baseball-wise that indicates that he’s in a great spot physically so I think the shoulder is a non-concern.”"

For Oberg, he missed all of the 2020 season due to blood clots in his throwing arm. It has been a chronic issue for the Rockies closer as he has missed time and had procedures done to alleviate them in three different seasons, including 2019 and 2020. During the season, Oberg posted this to his Instagram account, which made fans speculate whether or not the right-hander would return but he later edited the post to say “I will be back.”

According to Black, who said that he has spoken with Oberg recently, Oberg is coming back and his throwing program is going well.

"“[M]y hope and my gut tells me that Oberg will be fine,” said Black. “From talking to him, he feels confident about where he is. He’s starting to throw. He hasn’t thrown off the mound yet but he’s playing catch [and] playing catch frequently. He’s slowly picking up the intensity so, again, our medical department, led by [head trainer] Keith Dugger, and our physical therapy people and the people back working closely with Scott back east, they feel he’s in a great spot so I feel really good about Scotty.”"

Black said that Oberg still is “building back his arm strength and going through a little bit different of an offseason” than usual but Oberg is on a trajectory to return for the start of the season.

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For Jon Gray, he has been like Oberg in the fact that he has been on the injured list numerous times but, for Oberg, it has been the same issue: blood clots. For Gray, he has had a number of injuries including a the shoulder soreness that cost him more than a month in 2020, a fractured left foot (twice, once cutting his season short by two months in 2019), ankle soreness, calf issues (cramps and a line drive off his calf too), blisters, and a strained abdominal muscle

But Black said that Gray’s recovery is going well this offseason but he will start to ramp up more after the holidays.

"“Jon’s playing catch [and he] feels great,” said Black. “He’ll go through a normal progression once we ge through the holidays here and once we get closer to a return to Spring Training.”"

For Lambert, he will still likely be out a while since the pandemic happened and the Rockies were hoping that he would recover from his mid-March forearm injury with rest during the shutdown. That did not happen, though, as he had Tommy John surgery on July 21 with a 12-18 month recovery time but Black indicated that Lambert is doing well.

"“Peter Lambert is in a good spot as far has his Tommy John rehab [is concerned],” said Black"

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Other than Lambert and Oberg having to build his arm strength back up, Black said that the Rockies are “looking pretty good” on being healthy heading into 2021. Considering how significant having a healthy team is for a regular season but especially in a season that still could have some COVID regulations, that sounds like injuries are one issue that the Rockies likely won’t have to worry about, at least for the time being.