The Rockies placed left-hander Brent Suter on the 15-day injured list yesterday due to a left oblique strain, and recalled righty Noah Davis from Triple-A in the corresponding move. Suter has posted his typically low strikeout rate and his 8.1% walk rate is barely above league average, but the 33-year-old has nonetheless worked to a 2.81 ERA over 41 2/3 innings out of Colorado’s bullpen. Suter has allowed only two home runs over those 41 2/3 frames, and he has some of the best soft-contact numbers of any pitcher in baseball, sitting in the 99th percentile of hard-hit ball rate and in the 97th percentile of barrel rate.
Losing Suter to the IL is another blow to the injury-riddled Rockies, but the particular timing of the oblique problem adds some doubt to the southpaw’s value as a trade chip. Suter is a free agent after the season, and thus a logical player for the Rockies to shop in what looks like another non-contending season for the club. While oblique injuries can vary greatly in severity, it appears that Suter’s issue is relatively minor, as he told MLB.com that he was still feeling good and was planning to continue playing catch.
More from around the NL West…
- Knuckleballer Matt Waldron will start today’s game for the Padres, as Michael Wacha (the original scheduled starter) will skip a turn in the rotation due to some shoulder fatigue. Manager Bob Melvin described the move as “proactive,” telling the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Jeff Sanders and other reporters that Wacha has “got a little bit of history there with the shoulder. He’s been as good as any pitcher in the National League so this is something we don’t want to push.” Wacha has missed some time with shoulder issues in three of the last four seasons but not any truly significant time, making this seemingly more of a nagging injury than a top-tier concern. Wacha has a 2.90 ERA over 80 2/3 innings for San Diego this season, with a 1.7 fWAR that leads all Padres pitchers. Despite a below-average strikeout rate, Wacha has relied on soft contact and good control to achieve that ERA, and both his changeup and (due to some batted-ball luck) four-seamer have been premium pitches.
- Emmet Sheehan’s MLB career is off to a tremendous start, as the Dodgers prospect has a 1.50 ERA over his first 12 innings in the Show. Sheehan held the Astros to two runs over six frames in yesterday’s 3-2 Los Angeles victory, earning his first big league win in the process. Unsurprisingly, this success has earned Sheehan a continued look, as Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters (including The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya) that Sheehan will get another start next week. Julio Urias, Noah Syndergaard, and Dustin May are all on the IL, and while Urias might be back within a week or so, L.A. has had to rely on younger arms to join Clayton Kershaw and Tony Gonsolin in the rotation. Sheehan and Bobby Miller have done well to pick up the slack, while Michael Grove has been less consistent. Roberts said that Grove will work as a bulk pitcher behind an opener on Wednesday, when the Dodgers play the Rockies.