Adam Ottavino was promoted to the Rockies’ closer role in mid-April only to be shut down with elbow problems a week later and now the 29-year-old right-hander is expected to miss the rest of the season following Tommy John surgery.
Ottavino finishes the season with a 0.00 ERA and 13/2 K/BB ratio in 10 innings, which shows the type of standout reliever he’d become after years as a bullpen afterthought. Dating back to the start of 2013 he logged 154 innings with a 2.87 ERA and 161 strikeouts despite calling Coors Field home.
John Axford replaced Ottavino as the Rockies’ closer and once LaTroy Hawkins returns from a biceps injury it’s possible the 42-year-old could get another crack at ninth-inning duties after being replaced by Ottavino early.
With just over a week left in the regular season, the Diamondbacks have elected to shut down infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte. Marte has been dealing with some lower back inflammation and stiffness over the last few days; on Friday, the team revealed that he was diagnosed with a stress reaction as well.
It doesn’t look as though the injury will compromise Marte’s 2020 campaign, but as Craig noted on Wednesday, his absence will likely have some effect on his NL MVP candidacy. The 25-year-old will wrap his first All-Star season with a .329/.389/.592 batting line, 32 home runs, a .981 OPS, and a staggering, career-best 7.1 fWAR through 628 plate appearances.
Marte told reporters Thursday that the back pain had been an issue “for the past two months,” though he didn’t comment on the severity of the injury. Despite his ability to play through the pain since July, the issue has clearly escalated in the last week or so. Although the loss of their most valuable contributor may have a negative impact on the D-backs’ chances of competing in the postseason, it’s undeniably a wise move to let Marte recuperate rather than pushing him to play for another week and running the risk of further injury.
Entering Friday’s series against the Padres — their last road series of the regular season — Arizona still has a sizable gap to close in order to earn one of two NL wild card spots. They’re five games out of postseason contention, with the Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, and Phillies ahead of them.