A Rockies trade-deadline pickup is already in the major leagues

Sep 8, 2023, 7:24 PM | Updated: 7:25 pm

Victor Vodnik...

(Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

It didn’t take long for Victor Vodnik to earn the call to The Show.

A month-and-a-half after the Rockies acquired Vodnik from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for reliever Pierce Johnson, the Rockies tapped Vodnik to join the major-league roster Friday as they begin a series against the San Francisco Giants.

The spot for Vodnik opened up when the Rockies placed Austin Gomber on the 15-day injured list. Gomber left an Aug. 28 start against the Braves after working 2 2/3 innings due to a back issue.

Gomber officially landed on the 60-day injured list, ending his season. The back injury squelched a promising run for Gomber, who was the primary piece acquired in the 2021 trade of Nolan Arenado. Prior to the back injury, Gomber went at least six innings in eight of 10 starts, notching a 3.49 ERA in that span.

Vodnik is the first of a slew of minor-league pitchers acquired by the Rockies in the weeks prior to the trade deadline to make it to the top of the organization.

Another pitcher who came aboard at the time, former Dodgers reliever Justin Bruihl, struggled in seven relief appearances last month and was outrighted to AAA Albuquerque.

Vodnik pitched mostly at AA this year, first with Atlanta’s Southern League affiliate in Mississippi, and then with the Rockies’ AA club, the Hartford Yard Goats of the Eastern League. After three scoreless relief appearances — totaling six innings — with Hartford, the Rockies promoted him to Albuquerque last month.

He got knocked around in his most recent relief appearance in AAA, allowing a game-wining, 3-run home run last Saturday for the Isotopes in the bottom of the ninth inning of a 6-3 loss. But that wasn’t enough to keep Vodnik from getting the call Friday.



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