Ottavino readies another weapon in his pitching arsenal for 2018

While boasting one of the better bullpens in baseball, Rockies’ manager Bud Black will have a complex puzzle to assemble weekly as he balances newcomers Wade Davis and Jake McGee with returning players like Adam Ottavino, who looks to build on his 2017 campaign after returning from the ‘Tommy John’ elbow surgery that he underwent in 2016.

In an interview with Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro of Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 inside the clubhouse of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Ottavino explains how he’s looking to correct some issues from his underwhelming 2017 season in which he struggled to find a groove as the season progressed and finished with a 5.06 ERA.

“I got in some bad habits last season, delivery-wise, and I fixed those and worked on some new wrinkles, pitch-wise, and re-tightened up my mental game. A number of things,” Ottavino said. “You just have to practice it; [you’ve] got to dedicate yourself to practicing the small things, doing the dry work. I was able to repeat it for about a five-year period really well. Last year, I was repeating something that wasn’t the right thing, so just got back to basics this offseason, so I think I’m in a good spot.”

Ottavino says that while he’s been a two-ball pitcher for the majority of his career, there’s been work on a third option, and he’s bettering it to catch batters off-guard.

“I’ve been throwing a cutter for a few years, but this year I really took the time to figure out exactly what I wanted the pitch to do, and how I wanted to hold it consistently, and I’m hoping that yields a better result with that pitch gives me a third option,” Ottavino said. “It’s good if I have a third option; something that they haven’t seen maybe late in the count. Otherwise you get a little, it’s not like predictable, but they’ve seen your pitches, and if you keep throwing the same ones, they have a little better shot at hitting it. Big-league hitters are really good at pattern recognition, so I try to stay out of that.”

Click here to listen to the full interview with Adam Ottavino, including what he had to say about last year, his offseason work this year and more, or listen to the podcast below.

Catch Afternoon Drive with Goodman and Shapiro every weekday from 4p-6p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup. Download the all-new free Mile High Sports Radio mobile app for Apple or Android.