The Colorado Rockies will have to make a roster move today and it could be very telling.
One part of the move will be adding right-handed pitcher José Ureña to both the 40-man and 26-man roster to start for the team against the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight. He will be taking Antonio Senzatela’s place in the starting rotation after he was placed on the 15-day injured list with shoulder inflammation.
There are a lot of moves that the Colorado Rockies could make but here are the three moves that are most likely to happen.
The Colorado Rockies would put Colton Welker on the 60-day IL and send a reliever down to the minors
Colton Welker will be missing the rest of the regular season with shoulder surgery. However, the Colorado Rockies do not have him on the injured list in the majors or even on the injured list in the minor leagues.
If they promote him to the majors, they would have to pay him a major league salary for the rest of the season but they would get his 40-man roster spot. They did that with fellow Isotope Ryan Rolison and minor league pitcher Helcris Olivarez, even though he hasn’t pitched above High-A Spokane so this is definitely a possibility for the team.
But the Rockies would need a 26-man roster spot as well.
With the limit on the number of pitchers a team can carry in effect, the Rockies would have to send a pitcher down to the minor leagues. They already have 13 pitchers on the roster with four starters and nine relievers so they will have to send one of the relievers down.
The two relievers that are most likely to be sent down are Justin Lawrence or Jake Bird. They each have minor league options and have spent the majority of their seasons in the minors. Bird has had better results in the majors and they have gone with him more recently than Lawrence, since he was just called up before the Dodgers series but it could be either one of them.
The Rockies designate Noah Davis for assignment and send a reliever down to the minors
After having a good season with the Reds and Rockies in High-A (3.60 ERA in 19 starts), Noah Davis was promoted to Double-A in 2022 and he was added to the 40-man roster … and he has struggled mightily.
Overall on the season, he has made 15 starts and he has a 7.18 ERA. Since the beginning of June, his ERA has been 7.76 so it’s not like he has pitched better recently either.
If the 25-year-old is a DFA victim, then they’d have the 40-man roster spot for José Ureña but, like with Welker, they’d still need a 26-man roster spot. In that event, it would still likely be Jake Bird or Justin Lawrence.
The Rockies DFA a current reliever
It’s not a secret: The Rockies do not have the best bullpen in baseball. In fact, their 4.74 ERA is second-worst in baseball so they have more than their share of relievers that have not been as good as the club hoped.
Jhoulys Chacín and Robert Stephenson both have an ERA close to 7.00. Ty Blach has an ERA close to 6.00. Carlos Estévez’s ERA is north of 5.00.
The problem with this theory is that the Rockies have not shown (this year or in recent years, in general) a willingness to cut veterans. All four of those relievers are veterans so of the three options, this is least likely.
The Rockies will have to make one of these three moves or some other move to add Ureña on to the roster and they may have to make some other moves in the near future as well, depending on the status of some of their other pitchers, including Ryan Feltner, who is on the injured list in Albuquerque. Otherwise, he likely would have been the replacement for Senzatela.