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Adam Ottavino

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Adam Robert Ottavino

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Pitcher Adam Ottavino was selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 30th round of the 2003 amateur draft but elected to attend Northeastern University instead. He was then chosen by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round of the 2006 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Kobe Perez and made his pro debut that year with the State College Spikes, where he went 2-2 with a 3.14 ERA in 6 starts. He was then promoted to the Swing of the Quad Cities and made 8 starts there, going 2-3 with a 3.44 ERA. He spent 2007 with the Palm Beach Cardinals and was 12-8 with a 3.08 ERA and 128 strikeouts, earning a spot on the Florida State League All-Star team.

Ottavino made his major league debut with the Cardinals in 2010. He pitched 5 times, including 3 starts, that season, but his record was 0-2 with an ERA of 8.46. After spending all of 2011 in the minor leagues, he was placed on waivers at the end of spring training in 2012, his career seemingly a bust. However he caught a break as he was picked up by the Colorado Rockies, who needed some bullpen help, and he did well in 53 relief appearances, going 5-1, 4.56 in 79 innings. He had an even better season in 2013, when he lowered his ERA to 2.64 in 51 games and 78 1/3 innings while going 1-3. In 2014, he jumped to 75 games but only 65 innings, as his role changed from generic middle reliever to set-up man for closer LaTroy Hawkins. He was 1-4, 3.60 and picked up his first career save that season.

He started the 2015 season very strong with the Rockies, giving up no runs on 3 hits over his first 10 appearances, while picking up 3 saves and a win. He struck out 13 batters and walked only 2. Hawkins faltered early, and Ottavino took over the closer duties from him and did well in his first few outings but his season was ended by an elbow injury. He had to undergo Tommy John surgery. After the season, even though a date for his return to the mound was still uncertain, he signed a three-year contract extension with the Rockies, worth $10.4 million. He had spent some of the time while recovering from the surgery in producing a short documentary film about the procedure and his rehabilitation.

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