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Estévez's X-rays clean following comebacker

@harding_at_mlb and @JesseSanchezMLB
August 17, 2020

DENVER -- The Rockies’ late-innings relief situation received a scare on Sunday, when Carlos Estévez was smoked on the back of his throwing hand/wrist by a comebacker which ended the 10-6 victory over the Rangers at Coors Field. But the righty appears to have avoided a prolonged absence. “Looks like

DENVER -- The Rockies’ late-innings relief situation received a scare on Sunday, when Carlos Estévez was smoked on the back of his throwing hand/wrist by a comebacker which ended the 10-6 victory over the Rangers at Coors Field. But the righty appears to have avoided a prolonged absence.

“Looks like we dodged a bullet there,” Rockies manager Bud Black said after getting Estévez's X-ray results on Monday. “That's a situation that didn’t look good when we were on the field and when we retreated into the clubhouse. But the doctors checked him out. We saw the scan. The scan looks good.”

Estévez was able to make a fist and show grip strength. He will avoid the injured list.

Estévez's role has been elevated in a bullpen that has lost Scott Oberg, likely for the season, because of blood clots and is missing Wade Davis because of a right shoulder strain.

Oberg: 'It's just another hurdle to overcome'

“Overall, he’s been fine,” Black said of Estévez pitching more important innings. “If you look at the internal numbers, they are solid.”

The fact that Black had to call Estévez in that situation on Sunday highlighted another area of concern for the relief corps -- a rough patch for Jairo Díaz.

Díaz, who has had most of the closing opportunities since Davis’ injury, saw runs score under his watch for the third time in his past five appearances. Sunday was not a save opportunity, and Díaz was hurt by a Ryan McMahon fielding error. But he walked three, including two with the bases loaded, and created the save chance for Estévez. Daniel Bard rescued Díaz in the ninth inning of Tuesday's game against the D-backs.

Now with a 13-8 record, the Rockies boasted solid pitching throughout Sunday's game. Even amid a rough stretch -- the win over Texas was just the second victory in the last seven games -- the starting pitching has been solid enough to win most games.

Black didn’t name a closer when Davis was injured, so it’s not as if he is going back on a proclamation should he not use Díaz to protect a narrow ninth-inning lead going forward. Bard has been the most consistent of the late-game crew, and Estévez was pitching well before giving up a three-run homer to Derek Dietrich on Saturday night. Tyler Kinley could also work into the late-game mix in some role.

Black noted that the with the frequency of games -- Colorado is in a stretch of 33 games in 34 days -- there will be hiccups along the way.

“We’re really hoping someone can come in and really nail down some outs late in the game,” Black said. “It looks to me right now there’s probably not a designated per se closer. We’ll look at each game, each inning. We’ll continue to critique how guys are throwing and where they fit, but there’s no doubt the bullpen is an important part of our success.”

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.

Jesse Sanchez, who has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.