Scott Oberg's minor league numbers insinuate that he's primed to be a high-leverage reliever in the Colorado bullpen, but for the second season in a row, the right-hander failed to take the final step toward making that happen. The 27-year-old spent 2016 shuttling between Triple-A Albuquerque and the major leagues, and while his 2.43 ERA and 11.1 K/9 with the Isotopes turned heads, he couldn't transfer that success into the majors during any of his stints in Denver. His ERA jumped to 5.19 while his strikeout rate went south of a strikeout per inning (thanks mostly due to a 7.36 ERA at home), keeping him out of a high-leverage role for most of the season. To end things on a sour note, Oberg's campaign was cut short due to axillary artery thrombosis in his pitching arm, clouding his status heading into 2017. If he is ready for spring training right away, he'll need to prove he can keep the ball in the park at Coors Field, or else he'll be destined to serve as a Quad-A pitcher going forward.
Oberg will likely begin the season with Triple-A Albuquerque, Nick Groke of The Denver Post reports. The right-hander pitched well this spring, posting a 2.16 ERA and an 8:2 K:BB in 8.1 innings, but ultimately there were just too many other arms clamoring for the same spots. That being said, Oberg has consistently dominated Triple-A hitters over the past few years, so he seems like a logical option to return to the big-league bullpen when the opportunity presents itself.
Oberg has logged 5.1 innings this spring, allowing two runs on six hits while posting a 6:2 K:BB ratio. The right-hander held an ERA above 5.00 each of the past two seasons, but given his dominance at the upper levels of the minor leagues, he's still in the thick of the race for the final spots in the Rockies bullpen. The injury to Chad Qualls (forearm) and the demotion of Miguel Castro certainly helped Oberg's cause, but the 27-year-old will still need to outperform Jason Motte, Jordan Lyles and Carlos Estevez in order to punch his ticket to Denver.
Oberg said "all systems are go" heading into spring training after undergoing surgery to deal with blood clots, Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post reports. Oberg's 2016 campaign was cut short when he was diagnosed with thrombosis in his right arm and shoulder. After two offseason surgeries, he began throwing in late November and progressed steadily throughout the winter. With the additions of Greg Holland and Mike Dunn, Oberg will be hard-pressed to find a role in a reloaded Colorado bullpen. The right-hander posted a 5.19 ERA in 24 games last season.
Oberg (arm) was transferred to the 60-day DL on Friday, Nick Kosmider of the Denver Post reports. Four days after placing Oberg on the 15-day DL, the Rockies have gone ahead and given him the 60-day designation, thus ending the right-hander's season. Oberg was diagnosed with axillary artery thrombosis in his arm and a recovery timetable remains unclear.
Oberg was placed on the disabled list Monday with axillary artery thrombosis in his right arm. Oberg has struggled out to a 5.19 ERA on the season, though he's allowed only two hits over his last five appearances. The Rockies haven't provided a timetable for the right-hander, but he'll be eligible to return as early as September 6, unless the team opts to backdate the DL stint. Oberg last pitched on Friday against the Cubs.