The Rockies announced on Wednesday that they’ll be without their closer for a while, placing Wade Davis on the injured list with an left oblique strain. It’s a big blow, as the 33-year-old right-hander has been outstanding out of the bullpen so far this season.
In 17 appearances, Davis is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA. But more importantly, he’s 7-for-7 in save opportunities, locking down victories for the Rockies at a 100% clip.
That leaves a huge void for Bud Black to fill, as he tries to find someone who can get three outs with the game on the line. And based on results so far this season, the pickings appear a little thin.
Other than Davis, four other Rockies have had an opportunity to earn a save this season. All four have failed, as Mike Dunn, Scott Oberg, Seunghwan Oh and Bryan Shaw have all blown late-game leads for Colorado in 2019.
That’s cause for concern, as it limits Black’s option. So who should the skipper call for when he picks up the bullpen phone? Here are the best options:
1. Carlos Estevez – After a rough April, Estevez has had a great May, giving up just one run in 10 appearances. On Tuesday night, in a non-save opportunity, Black used the 26-year-old righty in the ninth, perhaps testing him a bit. Estevez has 29 strikeouts in 23 innings this season, ideal stats for a closer.
2. Scott Oberg – Yes, he blew his only save opportunity this season. And admittedly, he still has a bit of a reputation as a gas can out of the pen. But the numbers suggest Oberg is anything but one. Thus far in 2019, he’s posted a stellar 1.77 ERA across 18 relief appearances. He’ll get the first shot at the job.
3. Jake McGee – The lefty spent a month-and-a-half on the IL with a left knee sprain, but returned on Saturday to face the Phillies for an inning of workout. As with his other two appearances this season, McGee held the opposition check, keeping his (albeit limited action) ERA at 0.00 for the year.
Who will the Rockies use while Davis is on the mend? It could end up being a bit of “closer by committee,” at least initially. But in the long run, someone has to emerge as the go-to guy.
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