The Rockies will remove struggling veteran Wade Davis from the closer’s role, according to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post (Twitter link). Fellow righty Scott Oberg will fill the void in the ninth inning, manager Bud Black tells reporters including Nick Groke of The Athletic (via Twitter).
This decision represents an acknowledgement of what had long been observable: Davis is struggling badly. The 33-year-old was solid enough last year and at the outset of the current campaign, but has been bombed mercilessly since returning from an oblique injury in early June.
Since his return to action, Davis has allowed twenty earned runs in 17 innings. He’s carrying a 15:10 K/BB ratio and has coughed up five home runs, exhibiting some velocity decline along the way. Over the full course of the season, Davis has shown a decline in his swinging-strike rate (to 11.2% from 15.4% in 2017).
That’s all bad news for a Rockies team that has underperformed despite running its Opening Day payroll up to $145MM. Davis occupies a big chunk of that tally, with a $18MM salary this year. His contract includes a $17MM commitment for 2020 as well as a $1MM buyout on a mutual option for the ensuing campaign.