Estevez optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque

Estevez optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque

SAN DIEGO -- In what manager Bud Black called a difficult decision, the Rockies optioned righty reliever Carlos Estevez to Triple-A Albuquerque when they activated lefty Mike Dunn from the 10-day disabled list Wednesday.

Estevez, a second-year bullpen member, was 3-0 with a 7.94 ERA. Interestingly, in his wins he did not give up an earned run and struck out three against no hits in three innings. The high ERA was accumulated in situations when the team was behind.

Essentially, Estevez having Minor League options worked against him. But Black said it's a chance for Estevez, who is capable of a 100-mph fastball, to work on secondary pitches.

"When you have to send a guy like Carlos Estevez out, it tells you that there are some pretty talented pitchers; tough as it is, it's a sign that we have some arms," Black said. "He's going to work on fastball command, the continued improvement of his secondary pitches -- the change and the slider. And I suspect at some point he'll be back up to help us.

"I suspect that he's going to go down there and pitch so well that he's going to force us to bring him back."

Dunn, 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA before suffering back spasms, plugs back into the crew that protects late leads, along with righty Adam Ottavino and righty closer Greg Holland. Lefty Jake McGee and righties Scott Oberg and Chad Qualls pitch in multiple roles. Lefty Chris Rusin and righty Jordan Lyles are working in long relief, with Rusin more likely to pitch with a lead.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.