Fantasy Baseball StockWatch: Rockies RP Adam Ottavino
The situation had got more than a little muddy Monday when LaTroy Hawkins was taken out of the role after blowing his second save of the young season on Sunday.
Then Rafael Betancourt went out and got a 1-2-3 save, but Ottavino had pitched each of the previous two days and John Axford (who had picked up a save cleaning up a Hawkins mess earlier in the week) was away from the team dealing with a family situation.
Fantasy baseball owners no longer have to guess what the Rockies are going to do, whether they’re going to settle on one guy to close or go with a committee.
They still may want to throw the occasional save at Axford and Betancourt to help build trade value, but for now the Rockies must consider themselves a contender since they’re off to a strong 6-2 start.
Ottavino is more than capable of holding down the job for the rest of the season, and since there’s no clear handcuff here, it’s OK to release Hawkins, Betancourt and Axford.
Ottavino has been tremendous for the Rockies since coming over from the Cardinals in 2012, putting up a career 9.0 K/9 and 3.43 xFIP. He appears to have curbed the homer problems that plagued him in his first two seasons in the majors and his control has gotten better each year in Colorado.
This season, Ottavino has a 0.00 ERA with a remarkable 16.9 K/9 and a stellar 1.7 BB/9. His fastball velocity is up to 96.0 mph from 94.3 last year.
Ottavino throws three different sliders, making up 47.3% of his offerings last season. He describes them as “an up-and-down, more of a slurve, and one with more of a straight lateral break.”
He is a proponent of sabermetrics and uses BrooksBaseball and PITCHf/x. So basically he is one smart dude!
Make sure he’s owned in your fantasy baseball leagues. Despite all the buzz surrounding a new closer, this may still be a good time to buy while there’s at least some doubt whether he will be able to hold onto the job, as we’re quite confident now that Weiss has named Ottavino the man.