Rockies Bullpen: From Strength to Concern

The Rockies off-season focus was beefing up the bullpen.

Not only did they re-sign left-hander Jake McGee, but they also sign free-agent right-hander Bryan Shaw to share the setup duties with McGee, and closer Wade Davis to replace Greg Holland.

They already had left-handers Mike Dunn and Chris Russin, and right-handers Scott Oberg and Adam Ottavino in place.

Add them all together, and the Rockies had the highest paid bullpen in place, led by Davis, whose three-year, $52 million deal is the highest annual average value ever for a reliever.

The anticipated seven primary relievers have contracts that amount to $46,337,500 in 2018, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts, which accounts for 33.8 percent of the team payroll.

Price of Relief

Reliever Contract Term 2018 Salary
Wade Davis 3-year, $52Million 2018-20 $16 million
Bryan Shaw 3-year, $27 million 2018-20 $7.5 million
Jake McGee 3-year, $27 million 2018-20 $7.5 million
Mike Dunn 3-year, $19 million 2017-19 $7 million
Adam Ottavino 3-year, $10.4 million 2016-18 $7 million
Chris Rusin 1-year, $1,287,500 2018 $1,287,500
Scott Oberg 1-Year, $550000 2018 $550,000
Total $46,337,500

All seven of them have solid big-league track records, but other than Ottavino, it's been a struggle for them this year. Rusin spent 10 days on the disabled list from April 23 to May 3, and Oberg was sent to Triple-A Albuqeruque in-season but has since been recalled. Ottavino is currently on the disabled list. And it was never more evident than in Thursday's loss at Cincinnati. After Dunn gave up two runs in the eighth, escaping with a one-run lead when Carlos Gonzalez threw out Eugenio Suarez, attempting to score a game-tying run, at the plate. In the ninth, on the second of two Davis wild pitches, the Reds scored the game-tying run. And in the 13th, Rusin hit Joey Votto with a pitch to open the bottom of the inning, and with one out, gave up a two-run, game-ending home run to Jesse Winker.

No Relief in Sight

Player W L Pct Sv SvOP G IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA
Adam Ottavino 3 0 1 1 2 27 28.1 8 3 3 1 10 45 0.95
Wade Davis 0 1 0 20 23 28 26.1 17 10 10 3 12 31 3.42
Scott Oberg 1 0 1 0 2 16 17.2 16 9 8 0 6 13 4.08
Jake McGee 1 2 0.333 0 1 25 22.2 24 13 12 4 5 20 4.76
Bryan Shaw 2 4 0.333 0 3 34 31.1 40 24 24 7 14 20 6.89
Chris Rusin 0 2 0 0 1 19 24.1 25 22 21 7 12 22 7.77
Mike Dunn 0 0 - 0 0 23 16 20 16 16 1 17 12 9

Ottavino came into the season knowing this would be a crucial summer for him in light of the struggles he went through a year ago, which resulted in Ottavino being left off the Rockies post-season roster. With a new focus and his mechanics back in order,

Ottavino has been one of the most dominant relievers in the game. His impact on the bullpen is underscored by what has transpired since he suffered a left oblique strain during a May 27 appearance resulted in Ottavino being placed on the disabled list.

Before, After Loss of Ottavino

Team W-L Save-Op ERA
Season 32-30 21 of 33 4.71
Thru May 27 28-25 19 of 28 4.36
Since May 27 4-5 2 of 5 6.64
Rotation
Season 23-18 DNA 4.46
Thru May 27 20-18 DNA 4.18
Since May 27 3-0 DNA 6.12
Bullpen
Season 9-12 21 of 23 5.12
Thru May 27 8-7 19 of 28 4.66
Since May 27 1-5 2 of 5 7.39

Oberg and McGee have been solid in the last nine games, but the other key figures in the bullpen have hit on hard times.

No Relief in sight

Player W L Sv SvOP G IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA
Scott Oberg 0 0 0 1 6 6.2 4 1 0 0 1 3 0
Jake McGee 0 0 0 0 4 3.2 6 1 1 0 0 5 2.45
Harrison Musgrave 0 1 0 0 4 8 4 3 3 0 3 7 3.38
Wade Davis 0 1 2 3 5 4.1 5 4 4 1 3 6 8.31
Bryan Shaw 1 1 0 0 6 6 12 7 7 2 2 2 10.5
Chris Rusin 0 1 0 0 4 3.1 2 5 4 2 2 4 10.8
Mike Dunn 0 0 0 0 5 2.1 6 6 6 0 5 1 23.14
Brooks Pounders 0 1 0 1 2 1 4 4 4 1 1 0 36

How bad has the Rockies bullpen been since May 27? Well, in the National League, only the Pirates have found less relief when the relievers have taken the mound.

Unarmed

Team W L Pct Sv OP G IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA
----------- --- --- ------- ---- ---- ---- ------ ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ------
Pirates 1 3 0.25 2 4 10 31.1 35 29 27 9 18 25 7.76
Rockies 1 5 0.167 2 5 9 35.1 43 31 29 6 17 28 7.39
Cardinals 2 2 0.5 1 4 10 33.1 38 24 23 8 17 37 6.21
Mets 1 6 0.143 2 6 10 40.2 52 29 28 6 21 41 6.2
Braves 3 2 0.6 2 4 10 36.2 36 20 20 5 14 46 4.91
Phillies 0 2 0 1 3 10 25 24 14 13 2 6 30 4.68
Marlins 1 1 0.5 1 2 10 37.1 33 23 19 5 17 29 4.58
Reds 1 0 1 2 2 9 37.1 37 19 18 3 17 26 4.34
Dodgers 5 2 0.714 4 5 10 55.1 53 28 24 3 17 52 3.9
Brewers 1 0 1 1 2 8 25.1 22 11 10 4 11 34 3.55
Padres 3 0 1 3 4 10 41 40 17 16 6 8 43 3.51
D-Backs 0 1 0 2 3 9 27.1 32 10 10 4 11 20 3.29
Giants 2 1 0.667 2 3 9 37.1 31 14 10 1 11 44 2.41
Cubs 4 0 1 5 6 10 37.2 25 11 10 3 17 38 2.39
Nationals 1 1 0.5 4 5 9 28 16 3 3 2 7 23 0.96