Eddie Butler has been removed from the Arizona Fall League roster because he is experiencing back and shoulder soreness, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com.
Butler struggled with soreness in his shoulder after just his first start, which cast a negative light on the Rockies training staff and physical development philosophies. He seemed physically ill-prepared for the jump.
For a pitcher who relies on an odd arm-slot and cross-bodied style delivery, having these kinds of problems is deeply concerning, especially considering how much hope the organization has tied to his future. The kind of torque he needs to put on his body to be effective isn't likely to change, and isolated incidents become trends very quickly in this business.
Multiple, and not necessarily related, injury issues in his first MLB season is depressing for the fans, the team, and mostly for Butler himself.
Still. Butler seems in high spirits and believes he may now have time off that could be the key to returning in optimal health and effectiveness next season when he will be 24 years old.
From the Harding piece:
"I think by taking some time off and working on some physical things, [my arm slot] could kind of reset itself. I'll get the old muscle memory back, instead of going back to where I've been this year -- searching."
The Rockies likely wanted Butler in the AFL to work on correcting his arm slot. If his issues are due to physical limitations and not random failure to properly execute his mechanics in the majors, which the young fireballer believes, this soreness could be a blessing in disguise.
Physical limitations hampered Butler's debut season. Any concerns about that should end with shutting him down and having him focus entirely on regaining full health. This is the path the Rockies are taking, which is comforting on some level, I suppose.
This can turn into a feel-good story for a training staff that needs good news after experiencing Murphy's Law. All that led to a parade to the injury war. At least the Rockies spotted this early. For now there are no indications of anything major.
Of course, Rockies fans have heard that before.
So, stay tuned to Purple Row for the report that he has been abducted by aliens or is suffering from the rare condition known only as spontaneous dance fever.