The Rockies placed right-hander Mychal Givens on the 10-day injured list due to a strain in his left lower back, the team announced. Right-hander Justin Lawrence was called up from Triple-A to take Givens’ spot on the active roster.
Givens has a 2.78 ERA/3.98 SIERA over 22 2/3 innings for Colorado this season, with an above-average 26.6% strikeout rate but an 11.7% walk rate that sits only in the 19th percentile of all pitchers. In short, it isn’t much different from Givens’ usual performance over his seven MLB seasons, as he has missed his share of bats while running into control issues through 368 career innings for the Orioles and Rockies.
One notable difference is that Givens is making his changeup a far bigger part of his arsenal this season — after a 69.6%/9.8% split between his fastball and change prior to 2021, Givens has thrown his heater only 45.2% of the time this season, and increased his changeup usage to 39.9%. While Givens hasn’t gotten great results from his changeup specifically, his four-seamer has become a more effective pitch, after it had been getting hit increasingly harder over the last few years.
Baltimore sent Givens to Colorado in a deadline deal last August, and the righty again seemed like an obvious trade candidate on a Rockies team that will almost surely be selling by July 30. Givens is scheduled for free agency after the season, and on a salary of slightly more than $4MM, he’d be an inexpensive add for a team in need of bullpen help. (Givens would only have about $1.38MM remaining in owed salary if dealt on July 30.) However, an injury could certainly throw a wrench into those plans, especially considering the vague nature of some back injuries.