Vasto, Howard Latest additions to Rockies Bullpen

Left-handed pitchers Jerry Vasto and Sam Howard, called up by the Rockies from Triple-A Albuquerque during the weekend, made their MLB debuts on Sunday, the first time the Rockies have had two rookie pitchers debut in the same game.

Howard worked the ninth inning of the Rockies 8-3 loss to Arizona, and allowed one hit. Vasto retired two batters in the seventh, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk. He also struck out one.

Their call-ups were a part of a weekend of roster juggling. Jairo Diaz was designated for assignment to make room for Vasto on the Rockies' 40-man roster.

Howard joined the Rockies on Saturday, filling in for Harrison Musgrave, who is on a bereavement leave and expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.

Vasto was called up Sunday when Scott Oberg went on the disabled list with a back strain, suffered during a workout in the weight room. Vasto was 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA as a reliever at Albuquerque.

Oberg, 28, has gone 1-0 with a 4.08 ERA (17.2 IP, 8 ER), six walks and 13 strikeouts in 16 appearances in two stints with the Rockies this season. He was recalled from Albuquerque two weeks ago, and did not allow an earned run in six appearances before suffering the injury.

Adam Ottavino appeared a step closer to coming off the disabled list. After a bullpen session on Saturday, Ottavino had no residual soreness Sunday. He will throw off a mound again Tuesday in Philadelphia -- possibly to hitters -- after which his status will be re-evaluated. He could be sent on a short rehab assignment or possibly activated to the big-league roster if all goes well.

Carlos Gonzalez missed the Saturday and Sunday games, which initially was announced as a back spasm. On Sunday, the rockies said Gonzalez felt a twinge in his rib cage Friday night, and was treated with a chiropractic adjustment.

 Díaz, 27, has made four relief appearances with Triple-A Albuquerque this season, allowing four earned runs across 3.2 innings pitched (9.82 ERA). He has been on the disabled list since April 19. Diaz allowed five runs in five innings of four appearances with the Rockies in 2017. He missed the 2016 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

He also appeared in the big leagues with the Angels in 2014, and the Rockies in 2015.


Tracy RingolsbyComment