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.

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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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