The Rockies announced today that they have placed closer Scott Oberg on the 10-day injured list with blood clots in his right arm. To take his spot on the active roster, right-hander DJ Johnson has been recalled from Triple-A.
The Athletic’s Nick Groke adds that Oberg has undergone a procedure to dissolve the clot, which will likely keep the 29-year-old out of action for the remainder of the season. In Oberg’s absence, Wade Davis will be reinstalled as the Rockies’ closer, a role that he relinquished only about two weeks ago. Oberg also saw his 2016 season end prematurely due to the same issue, which required two surgeries and roughly three months away from baseball activities. He was able to pitch a full season in 2017.
Oberg has quietly established himself as the Rockies’ finest reliever over the last two seasons, a span over which he has posted a cumulative 2.35 ERA in 114 2/3 innings pitched. He’s recorded five saves since supplanting Davis as the Rockies’ ninth-inning man. Following the season, he will be eligible for arbitration for the first time, which should earn him a solid payday for his efforts over the last two years.
Johnson, a 29-year-old righty, will get another crack at the big league level with Oberg sidelined. The former has appeared in 14 games for the Rockies this year, though the results have not been promising. He’s walked 11 batters—more than the 10 he has struck out—in 11 2/3 innings. His Triple-A track record is considerably more impressive, as he’s struck out 12.2 batters per nine innings this season in the Pacific Coast League, which could lend itself to some optimism for Johnson’s potential as a Major League reliever. Of course, he’s had limited exposure at the top level, so there’s time for him to figure it out, and he should have a fine opportunity to do so over the season’s final month and a half.