Dunn set to return to Rockies, Diehl optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque

Apr 12, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Mike Dunn (38) throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The long road to full health took another step forward for the Colorado Rockies on Thursday. Per a team announcement, the club has reinstated left-handed reliever Mike Dunn from the 10-day injured list.

Dunn’s stint away from the major league club came as a product of left a/c joint inflammation. In other words, swelling in the same shoulder that caused him to miss most of last year.

In two-plus seasons since coming over to the Rockies, the southpaw has struggled. After a decent start in 2017 in which he appeared in 68 games and pitched to a 4.47 earned run average, things have spiraled.

Since the start of 2018, Dunn’s ERA has ballooned to 7.08. Across 34.1 innings, the veteran has walked 24 batters, while only punching out 26. The numbers are a far cry from his days as a high-strikeout flamethrower.

When fully healthy, Dunn has proven to be a reliable reliever, as shown in his three separate seasons with an ERA under 3.16. At 34 years old and in the final year of his three-year pact with the Rockies, a dominant stretch is a lone hope in extending his career that’s spanned over a decade.

The latest move adds to a growing list of bullpen adjustments for the club. In only the last two weeks, the Rockies have placed Seunghwan Oh on the injured list, designated Chris Rusin for assignment and called up Phillip Diehl.

The latter, Diehl, was optioned back to Triple-A Albuquerque with the announcement of Dunn’s return. In two games, the young left-handed reliever – formerly acquired for Mike Tauchman – allowed four earned runs in two innings (18.00 ERA).