Former Rockies closer Wade Davis is back for the stretch run of the 2020 season. What role he might play is yet to be determined.
Davis, 35, was reinstated from the injured list Saturday before the Rockies hosted the Los Angeles Angels at Coors Field. Davis has been out with a strained right shoulder since his appearance in the Rockies’ home opener on July 31 — an 8-7 loss to San Diego at Coors Field.
To make room on the 28-man active roster, Colorado optioned right-hander Ashton Goudeau to its alternate training site.
If Davis is used as a long reliever or late in games will depend on his performance. His shoulder was sore before he went on the IL and his fastball was averaging only 91.2 mph, down from his career average of 93.9 mph and down significantly from the 96.7 mph fastball he threw for Kansas City in 2014.
Davis converted two saves at Texas to begin this season and had two outs and a one-run lead in the ninth inning against the Padres in the Aug. 31 home opener but surrendered two homers — to Fernando Tatis Jr. and Tommy Pham — and walked two in the loss.
Since signing a three-year, $52 million contract prior to the 2018 season, Davis has gone 4-13 with 60 saves in 70 opportunities in 122 appearances, posting a 6.18 ERA. He has an 8.01 ERA at Coors Field and a 4.22 ERA on the road.
Davis performed well in 2018 when the Rockies made the playoffs and led the National League with 43 saves while posting a 4.13 ERA. The 2019 season, however, was a disaster. He had an overall ERA of 8.65 ERA and an 11.10 ERA at Coors Field — the highest home ERA in major-league history.
Still, way back in spring training, the Rockies expressed confidence Davis could rebound and be their closer in 2020.
“In a perfect world, Wade is our closer and Scotty (Oberg) pitches in front of him in some capacity,” manager Bud Black said at the time. “It’s based on Wade’s great track record. That’s the perfect scenario.”
But then Davis got hurt and Oberg is out for the season after experiencing blood clots in his right arm for the third time in four years.
Daniel Bard is Colorado’s current closer and, for the most part, he’s performed well, with six saves in six opportunities and a 3.79 ERA. Overall, however, Colorado’s bullpen has struggled, owning a 6.90 ERA that is the second-highest in the majors.
Davis revealed in spring training that the strained left oblique that landed him on the injured list May 22, 2019, hampered him the rest of the season. He admitted that he probably returned too quickly and the injury messed up his delivery.
In 17 appearances before the oblique injury, Davis converted all seven save opportunities, posted a 2.45 ERA and did not allow a home run. In his 33 appearances after coming off the injured list, he was 0-5, blew three saves in 11 chances and gave up seven home runs.
Footnotes. Right-hander Jon Gray, on the IL with shoulder inflammation, threw a light bullpen Saturday and Black said there is still a chance that Gray can start a game this season. … Infielder Brendan Rodgers, out with a shoulder injury, continues playing games at the alternative site and was working on infielder drills at Coors Field Saturday afternoon.
Angels LHP Andrew Heaney (3-3, 4.40 ERA) at Rockies RHP Ryan Castellani (1-2, 5.34)
1:10 p.m. Sunday, Coors Field
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 AM
Castellani, a 24-year-old rookie, believes he’s learned from each of his seven starts. Now he’s got to put that education into action as the Rockies enter their stretch run with a playoff berth still possible. The right-hander did not get a decision in the Rockies’ 7-6 win at Dodger Stadium last Sunday. The powerful Dodgers taught him a lesson, blasting three home runs in his 4 1/3 innings. All told, Castellani allowed four runs on six hits and issued a career-high four walks. He is 0-2 with a 6.91 ERA in four appearances (three starts) at home. Heaney was charged with the loss on Tuesday at Texas, allowing five runs (three earned) on five hits over five innings. Over his last three starts, the lefty has a 1.83 ERA with 20 strikeouts. He’s allowed three runs or less in six of his nine starts. In two career games against Colorado, both at Coors Field, he’s 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA with 10 strikeouts over 13 1/3 innings.
Trending: Shortstop Trevor Story went 2-for-4 with a triple, a double and two RBIs Friday night, halting a streak of 39 games without multiple RBIs, the third-longest
such streak of his career.
At issue: The Rockies continue to get very little offensive pop from their catchers. Their combined .509 OPS ranks 28th in the majors.
Tuesday: Athletics LHP Sean Manaea (4-2, 4.46) at Rockies TBD, 6:40 p.m., ATTRM
Wednesday: Athletics RHP Mike Fiers (5-2, 5.06) at Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela, 1:10 p.m., ATTRM