Rockies place reliever Mike Dunn on 10-day DL, reinstate Chad Qualls

Dunn has helped transform the Rockies’ bullpen from one of baseball’s worst in 2016 to one of baseball’s best this year.

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The Rockies placed Mike Dunn on the 10-day DL on Wednesday. (Rick Scuteri/USA Today Sports)

The Rockies placed Mike Dunn on the 10-day DL on Wednesday. (Rick Scuteri/USA Today Sports)

The Colorado Rockies’ bullpen will be without a key contributor for at least the next week and change. On Wednesday, the Rockies placed left-hander Mike Dunn on the 10-day disabled list with back spasms while reinstating righty Chad Qualls.

Dunn has helped transform the Rockies’ bullpen from one of baseball’s worst in 2016 to one of its best this year. He’s allowed five hits, one run and walked two batters in 7 1/3 innings of work. Dunn, who signed a three-year, $19 million contract this offseason, has a 1.17 ERA.

Qualls, 37, hasn’t pitched since 2016, when he gave up 19 runs in 32 2/3 innings for a 5.23 ERA.

The Rockies bullpen as a whole has the 10th-best ERA in baseball (3.07), ninth-best strikeout rate (9.60 K/9) and fourth-best walk rate (2.94 BB/9). It’s been instrumental in helping Colorado get off to a 14-7 start.

Colorado is in first place in the N.L West this season despite dealing with multiple injuries — David Dahl (ribs); Ian Desmond (hand); Tom Murphy (forearm); Jon Gray (foot) —  as well as starting pitcher Chad Bettis being unable to play as he fights cancer.

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