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Scott Oberg helped us stop worrying

The meme king became the mound king

You’re reading the 2018 edition of Ranking the Rockies, where we take a look back at the season had by every player to play for the Rockies in 2018. The purpose of this list is to provide a snapshot of the player in context. The “Ranking” is an organizing principle that’s drawn from Baseball Reference’s WAR (rWAR). It’s not something the staff debated. We’ll begin with the player with the least amount of rWAR and end up with the player with the most.

★ ★ ★

No. 8, Scott Oberg (2.4 rWAR)

For three seasons, we worried about Scott Oberg.

The organization was always fond of Scott, his play in the minor leagues showing why, but for three years as he was juggled between Triple-A Albuquerque and Denver. So, we worried. He blew up, walked hitters, and overall stunk for the majority of his time. Why was the organization so fond of a this kid from UCONN? He could throw hard but boy did he get hit hard.

We don’t worry about Scott Oberg anymore.

A 2.45 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 58 innings will do that for you. A wipeout slider and blistering fastball that often sniffs 100 will ease the mind.

On April 23, Scott Oberg allowed five earned runs on three hits and two walks, he only got one out. Oberg allowed eight earned runs in the month of April and saw his ERA spike at 6.55. Things were not looking good for Scott in his fourth try at the big leagues. He was sent down again, and was less a cause for worry than a relief to be able to forget about him.

But on May 29th, he reappeared. The rest of the season was a flurry of memes, a finding of his strikeout pitch, and 47 23 innings of near perfect relief. Scott only allowed eight more earned runs the rest of the season, and by late August, with the Rockies in the thick of a playoff race, he was the most reliable arm they could find. Apart from one Yasiel Puig home run, Scott was perfect in September. That’s 14 scoreless appearances, shoving the Rockies to within a whisker of a division title.

Scott’s tremendous year obviously reached it’s crescendo on October 2, in the playoffs, in Wrigley Field. The Rockies season ended less than a week later, but even with the floundering disappointment in the NLDS, the Wild Card victory in Wrigley Field should be established in Rockies lore. Scott is one of the heroes of the story. His expectations realized and his legend established, Scott turned out the lights on a very good Cubs team.

For three seasons we worried about Scott Oberg. We worried if this would be the one where he blows up; we worried if he’d walk off the field with his head down and a game lost. We didn’t worry in 2018 though.

We don’t worry about Scott Oberg anymore.