Rockies lose closer to arm injury, recall DJ Johnson from Triple-A

Apr 3, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Scott Oberg (45) throws a pitch at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After recently being named closer, Scott Oberg was placed on the 10-day injured list Sunday. The Colorado Rockies announced it was due to an axillary artery thrombosis (blood clot) in his pitching arm. It’s the second time in his career that Oberg has dealt with the clots in his right arm.

The club moved Oberg to the 60-day injured list Monday, effectively ending his season.

In his place, the team has recalled DJ Johnson from Triple-A Albuquerque. It will be just his second stint with the Rockies this year.

For Oberg, the injured-list stint will be the fifth of his Rockies’ career.

Before the injury, Oberg was inarguably the Rockies’ most dominant reliever. Taking over for Adam Ottavino, the right-hander has posted a 2.25 earned run average across 49 appearances.

With Wade Davis’ struggles, Oberg was also assigned the closing role at the beginning of August. In that time, he converted two saves and picked up a win.

The breakout year was merely part of a two-year resurgence for Oberg. Last year, he registered a 2.45 ERA in 56 appearances. He’s struck out a combined 115 hitters over the two-year span.

For Johnson, his latest chance comes on the heels of a lengthy demotion. Before he was sent back to Albuquerque in May, the 29-year-old had posted a 9.26 ERA in 14 appearances. For the Isotopes, he’s carried a 5.89 mark in 37 opportunities.

The latest injury for Oberg adds to an already-depleted Rockies’ bullpen. From their opening day roster, they’ve also lost Seunghwan Oh, Mike Dunn and Harrison Musgrave. The news also comes only a day after the club placed Chad Bettis on the 10-day injured list with a left hip impingement.

With the losses, Rockies’ relievers have a 5.16 ERA across 434.1 innings. That mark is the third-worst in the National League, ahead of only the Mets and Nationals.

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