Rockies reliever Oberg starting season on injured list

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Colorado Rockies reliever Scott Oberg will start the season on the injured list because of back soreness.

Oberg was 6-1 with a 2.25 ERA and five saves in 49 games for the Rockies last season. He got a $13 million, three-year contract last winter.

“It’s a little bit of a blow. Don’t think it will be long,” manager Bud Black said Wednesday, when announcing that the Rockies would start the season without the right-hander.

Oberg briefly took over as the closer last year after Wade Davis struggled in that role. But a blood clot in Oberg’s right shoulder forced him to miss the final six weeks of the season and required offseason surgery.

Black said Oberg had an intensive throwing session in the outfield Wednesday without any discomfort, and would throw off the mound within a few days. The Rockies open their season Friday night in Texas, where they also played exhibition games Tuesday and Wednesday.

The 30-year-old Oberg had surgery over the offseason to enlarge an artery in his right shoulder, a procedure he was told will alleviate further issues. He missed the final six weeks of the 2016 season with a blood clot in the same shoulder.

Oberg is 18-8 with a 3.85 ERA and seven saves in 259 career games, all with the Rockies since 2015.

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