The 100 Greatest Colorado Rockies: No. 37 Adam Ottavino
We continue our look at the top 100 Colorado Rockies of all time in this article. Here, we look at No. 37 on our list, Adam Ottavino
While Adam Ottavino may have not closed down the closer role as expected going into the 2017 season, the Colorado Rockies are better off for it. Not that Otto isn’t up to the task. Greg Holland’s repertoire and experience in the ninth inning give him the advantage for the role. Ottavino struggled with location in Spring Training but corrected the ship on Opening Day.
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Overcoming obstacles is one of the reasons why Ottavino is arguably the best setup man in Rockies history. With this duo in the late innings, you won’t have to look away from the TV anymore when the Rockies bullpen comes into the game.
The dominant righty wasn’t always a dominating force on the field. He was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round with the 30th overall pick in the 2006 draft.
He was drafted as a starter which proved not to be a good fit for Ottavino. In his debut in 2010 he went 0-2 in there games started with a 8.46 ERA in 22.1 innings.
He wore the number 75 with the Cardinals. He never got to wear it again for the big league club. He played in the minors next season and was claimed off waivers by the Rockies in 2012. He was placed on the minor league roster. At that point he had he pitched in six minor league season.
A reinvention was due.
The Brooklyn local went back to the number he wore when he was growing up as he converted to a reliever with the Rockies. The number “0” was perfect for “The Big O”. It was a fresh start for a new role. His first three seasons he pitched 65 innings or more with an average 3.6 ERA. Part of that success stems from his slider. A pitch so beautiful it deserved a Twitter account to pay homage.
Tommy John slowed him in 2015 and he didn’t come back until the middle of last season. He was one of the bright spots of the bullpen and 2016 and the Rockies will need him to regain the form he had before his surgery to make it to the playoffs. Barring injuries, the skill is there.
Ottavino is anything but a zero. His 6.3 WAR is near the top of of anybody to pitch in the Rockies bullpen. The reinvention of his career and poetic slider have already made Otto one of the best Rockies relievers of all time.
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