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.
On Monday, Cardinals reliever Brett Cecil was placed on the 10-day injured list due to Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Cecil, who notably lost 42 pounds since the end of the 2018 season, was having trouble with his mechanics throughout spring training and only logged two official Grapefruit League innings.
Cecil, 32, is entering the third year of his four-year, $30.5 million contract. He struggled last year, finishing with a 6.89 ERA and a 19/25 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings. The lefty dealt with shoulder and foot injuries during the season as well.
The Cardinals bolstered the bullpen in December, signing lefty Andrew Miller to a two-year, $25 million deal. It would be nice to have a healthy and effective Cecil, but the high-leverage workload will be managed by Miller and Jordan Hicks as well as Alex Reyes.
Cecil was among a handful of Cardinals to hit the injured list on Monday, joining Carlos Martínez (right shoulder cuff strain), Jedd Gyorko (right calf strain), Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement), and Justin Williams (right hand second metacarpal fracture).