Ottavino in 'holding pattern' with elbow injury until Monday

Ottavino in 'holding pattern' with elbow injury until Monday

PHOENIX -- Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino is in what he termed "a holding pattern." Ever since an MRI came back Tuesday revealing inflammation where the triceps tendon attaches above the right elbow, he's been trying to relax and await the next move.

"I'm waiting around trying to figure some things out, waiting to see what's going to happen," Ottavino said on Wednesday night, before the Rockies closed a three-game series against the D-backs at Chase Field. "I'm actually feeling a little bit better than it did a few days ago. We'll see.

"I'm definitely worried. I haven't been on the DL for something in like four years. I love to pitch. I'd really like to be out there. It's kind of weird. I haven't had any elbow/triceps issues in my whole career."

Ottavino went on the disabled list Monday and was replaced as closer by veteran John Axford. In a corresponding move the Rockies recalled right-hander Jorge Rondon from Triple-A Albuquerque.

After a radiation technician reported the inflammation, the Rockies made a decision to keep Ottavino with the team both now and when they travel to San Diego to open a three-game set against the Padres on Friday night. The Rockies return to Denver on Monday, and Ottavino will then see physicians.

"They were going to shut me down for a little while anyway," Ottavino said. "So we're kind of in a holding pattern right now. Once I get back to Denver I'll get evaluated by a team doc and see what he thinks. They have to evaluate you. The pictures only tell you so much. If we need to, we'll go see more docs and figure out what the best course of action is -- whether I need time or whatever. We don't know."

While Ottavino said he's certainly concerned, the club doesn't seem too disturbed, otherwise it could have sent the right-hander home to see the doctors immediately.

Manager Walt Weiss said Wednesday he is comfortable right now with the current course of action.

"It's not the protocol," Weiss said. "We didn't feel like we needed to get him back there. I think we've got a pretty good handle on what the MRI showed, as far as this inflammation. We just don't think a couple of days is going to make any difference."

Ottavino seemed to agree.

"I don't think it really matters, because the protocol we're following is for me to rest," he said.

Ottavino last pitched on Friday night, throwing a scoreless inning at home against the Giants, earning his third save. He said he been had been feeling pain in the triceps and in the elbow for several appearances before that one.

The shame of it is that he'd been pitching some of the best ball of his career in the closer's slot and hadn't allowed an earned run this season in 10 1/3 innings. His WHIP over 10 appearances is 0.48 (three hits, one walk), and opponents are only batting .094 against him.

"It just didn't feel very good in the last couple of games I pitched in," Ottavino said. "I just couldn't get loose. I had a hard time feeling like I wanted to go full, all out. It felt irritable, you know? I've had plenty of aches and pains in my career, but it didn't keep me from pitching the way I wanted to.

"But the last game I really didn't feel like myself. It isn't doing anybody any good to have your closer not feel like himself. We decided, for the good of everybody, I should probably just shut it down for a bit."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.