Colorado Rockies: Who could be the closer in 2018?

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 13: Carlos Estevez #54 of the Colorado Rockies pitches in the eighth inning during the game between the Miami Marlins and the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park on August 13, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 13: Carlos Estevez #54 of the Colorado Rockies pitches in the eighth inning during the game between the Miami Marlins and the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park on August 13, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 07: Closing pitcher Adam Ottavino #0 of the Colorado Rockies pitches in the ninth inning during the MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. The Rockies defeated the Dodgers 9-1. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 07: Closing pitcher Adam Ottavino #0 of the Colorado Rockies pitches in the ninth inning during the MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. The Rockies defeated the Dodgers 9-1. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) /

Adam Ottavino

2017 stats: 2-3, 5.06 ERA, 53.1 innings pitched

It is easy to forget that Ottavino entered the 2015 season as Colorado’s closer and had three saves in three opportunities before suffering a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, forcing him to have Tommy John surgery and end his 2015 season. Before his injury, opponents were hitting .094 against him in 10.1 innings.

Ottavino came back in 2016 to pitch in 34 games and recorded seven of 12 save chances. Fully healthy in 2017, Ottavino pieced together a 1.42 ERA in April in 12.2 innings spanning 12 games. It looked like the Otto of 2015 was back. However, he struggled mightily in the remaining months as his slider was inconsistent. He threw four wild pitches in one horrific outing in Los Angeles.

The 31-year-old right-hander enters 2018 due $7 million by the Rockies as the last year of a three-year, $10.4 million contract. Depending on who re-signs with Colorado in the offseason, it’s very likely that Ottavino will again be given the chance to compete for Colorado’s closer position. However, he will need to find more consistency that he displayed in 2017 for that to be a reality.

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