The Rockies announced, via Twitter, that right-hander Wilton Lopez has been designated for assignment in a series of roster moves. Michael Cuddyer has been placed on the 15-day DL with a left shoulder strain, and rookie right-hander Eddie Butler has also hit the DL due to inflammation in his right rotator cuff. Lopez’s DFA creates room for right-hander Christian Bergman, whose contract was selected from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Additionally, Chad Bettis has been recalled from the minors.
The 30-year-old Lopez spent three seasons as one of the most underrated setup men in baseball with the Astros, pitching to a 2.64 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 2014 1/3 innings. Lopez’s elite command and a ground-ball rate near 56 percent in that time attracted the Rockies, who acquired him in a trade that sent Alex Gillingham and Alex White to Houston in exchange for Lopez and a player to be named later (Jose Monzon).
However, Lopez has largely disappointed in one-and-a-half years with the Rockies, pitching to a sub-par 4.63 ERA. Lopez has allowed 18 hits (three homers) in just 6 1/3 innings this season, and he’s seen stark declines in his strikeout rate, velocity and ground-ball rate since coming over to Colorado. The decline isn’t necessarily a complete shock, as the Phillies were set to acquire him prior to Colorado’s acquisition but called the deal off due to concerns over Lopez’s shoulder.