The Rockies placed right-hander Tyler Kinley on the 15-day injured list, as Kinley is dealing with an ulnar nerve injury in his throwing elbow. The placement is retroactive to June 9. Right-hander Chad Smith has been called up from Triple-A to take Kinley’s spot in the Colorado bullpen.
Now in his third season with the Rockies, Kinley has had a breakout year, posting an 0.75 ERA, 27% strikeout rate, and 6.0% walk rate over 24 innings. Even with advanced metrics factored in, Kinley’s 2.88 SIERA is still indicative of a fine performance, and Kinley has become the top set-up option behind closer Daniel Bard. Kinley, Bard, and Alex Colome have been pretty much the only effective arms in the Rockies’ bullpen this season, so Kinley’s absence will further hamper a struggling relief corps.
It also isn’t yet clear how much time Kinley might miss, or if surgery could be a possibility. If his ulnar nerve is only irritated, Kinley could conceivably be back in action relatively soon (if beyond the minimum 15 days). However, if the injury is more serious, Kinley’s season may be in jeopardy.
The 31-year-old is in his first year of arbitration eligibility, having agreed to an arb-avoiding $1.025MM deal back in November. Losing a big chunk of this breakout year to the IL would certainly hamper Kinley’s earning potential for 2023, though his price tag would also be low enough that the Rockies would probably still tender him a contract.