Imagine for me, if you will, a different Rockies team. This team did not spend big money in the 2017 offseason to rebuild their bullpen but instead spent money on the margins to fill in the gaps left by four members leaving in free agency. Maybe they would have been able to divert those resources into signing a more capable bat to play first base, or maybe their closer does not end up with three loses in eight games (including two walk-off loses) and they are able to get over the hump and win the NL West outright rather than having to go to four cities in three time zones in five days just to get past the Wild Card round. This team may have still been bad in 2019, but maybe the bullpen would’ve been less nausea-inducing.
We cannot look to the past but, at the close of Summer Camp, the Rockies took steps to imagining this future for themselves by releasing Jake McGee and Bryan Shaw, two of the three members of the Super Bullpen. The third member leads the league in saves but also managed to turn a two-out-nobody on situation in the top of the ninth with a one-run lead into a four run inning for the Padres. Over the last 13 months his 12.88 ERA is worst among relievers. Yes, the Rockies have a Wade Davis problem, but what the solution ends up being is anyone’s guess at this point.
That’s because the supposed closer-in-waiting, Scott Oberg, may be out for a while longer. Oberg, already on the injured list due to a lower back strain, felt discomfort in his pitching hand in his pre-game throwing session on Saturday. The session was cut short and Oberg will be shut down for the time being, according to manager Bud Black. So far, Jairo Diaz and Carlos Estevez are performing very well out of the bullpen but the sooner Oberg can be added to the mix, the better we’ll all feel.
They left out John Elway’s Broncos. And on his birthday, no less.