Jairo Díaz’s career has not been an easy one. After being traded to the Rockies in 2014 from the Angels, he made a splash late in the 2015 season for the Rockies. Unfortunately, 2016 brought Tommy John surgery and subsequent recovery. In 2017 he was hit with the greatest challenge of them all — his wife, Duby, was diagnosed with stomach cancer. The diagnosis came just a few short months after their daughter, Hannah, was born. He pitched some games in Albuquerque and made four appearances at the big league level during the 2017 season before being marred with elbow inflammation. He rejoined Duby and was able to spend the final few months with her before she died in October of 2017. In 2018 he was released by the Rockies only to be re-signed a few days later. After becoming a free-agent at the conclusion of 2018, the Rockies signed him to a minor-league deal.
Despite the Rockies’ difficult season, Díaz showed improvements with his fastball and took over the closer role after Scott Oberg, who replaced Wade Davis in that role, was placed in the Injured List. His numbers in 2019 were far from perfect, but I hope in 2020 to see more improvement, we all know the Rockies’ bullpen needs it.
2020 will be here before we know it. As we look back over the decade, we have the 2010 through 2019 seasons to see what some of the best moments were for the Rockies. Do you have a favorite moment? Was it Ubaldo Jimenez’s no-hitter in 2010? Or perhaps it was Nolan Arenado’s walk-off home run to complete the cycle on Father’s Day in 2017? Personally, one of my favorite moments was watching Tony Wolters come through and hit a single to bring in the game winning run of the 2018 Wild Card game against the Chicago Cubs. There’s something special about winning an elimination game on the road.
★ ★ ★
Happy belated birthday to Larry Kenneth Robert Walker! Hey, I mentioned it last week it was #WalkerHOF season so of course his birthday graphic would feature some of his accomplishments.