Dodgers Potential Free Agent: Adam Ottavino

It’s no secret that the Dodgers had bullpen problems in 2018. The Dodgers restructured their bullpen late in the season but relief pitching was still an issue even in the postseason. The Dodgers could certainly use some help in this area for 2019. Looking at the free agent market this winter there are not many attractive options. However there are a few worthwhile upgrades available. One of those that could be a great fit for the Dodgers would be right hander Adam Ottavino.

The 32-year old right hander had a terrific season in 2018. Ottavino posted a 2.43 ERA in 75 appearances for the Rockies in 2018. Ottavino struck out 112 and walked 36 across 77.1 innings pitched during the 2018 season. He allowed just 4.8 hits per nine and struck out 13.0 per nine while posting a 2.74 FIP. Ottavino allowed just five home runs and stranded 76.3% of base runners. He posted a 43% ground ball rate as well.

Ottavino with his sinker, slider and change is somewhat of a ground ball specialist. If you think he could only pitch well away from Coors Field, think again. While Ottavino had a 2.10 ERA and limited batters to a .124 BAA in Denver, he also posted a 2.70 ERA and limited batters to a .184 BAA against on the road. There is no question that Ottavino had a great year.

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Ottavino has 17 career saves and a 3.68 ERA while limiting hitters to 7.9 hits per nine. He’s also struck out 10.1 per nine over the duration of his 8-year major league career. Even though He’s had issues holding runners on, he’s been a reliable reliever his entire career. He’s had 50 or more appearances in five of his eight campaigns. He should come relatively cheap too. Last season he was earning seven million dollars.

We’re always talking about that bridge to Kenley Jansen which has become quite rickety over the past couple of seasons. The Dodgers need a dependable seventh and eighth inning guy that can get the ball to Kenley. Ottavino could be a valuable investment towards building that bridge.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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12 thoughts on “Dodgers Potential Free Agent: Adam Ottavino

    1. You have good reason. Kenley will be coming off of his second heart procedure. They say the altitude has also affected him, so what if he is not available for all the games at Coors Field? Of course that is only 9 or 10 games, but depending on how good the Rockies are, they might be crucial games. It is pretty obvious though that they are going to have to look outside of the organization for that bridge since the only real hard throwers they have outside of maybe Joe Broussard, are in the lower minors. Hard for me to understand how Bob Melvin beat out Alex Cora for AL Manager of the Year. Team high in wins during the season and a world title to boot. System for selection is broken.

  1. Question: Does heart issues affect location of pitches?

    If so, Kenley is excused for losing his ability to spot pitches since August of 2017.

    I actually think we need a new closer and Kenley becomes one of many to “bridge” to that closer.

    1. His stamina was also in question. As ya know Kenley was a few points below in velocity and those medications may have had something to do with it too. Ottavino would be a good sign, and he also has closer experience and is a ground ball pitcher, something this Dodger staff needs more of. Amazing to see that in the 12 combined WS games in 2017, 2018, the Dodger pitching gave up 23 HR’s while the hitter hit only 16…….. wonder we Dodgers lost…..

    2. I think it affected his stamina. It looked to me like many times he was pulling away from his natural delivery, so the ball was not going in the direction he intended it to go. If you also noticed, he was pitching up in the zone more than he ever had before. I think that accounts for the double digit homers he gave up. As for getting a new closer, they are not going to even consider that. Jansen has 3 more years on his contract. He is their 80 million dollar man, so they are not going to pay the price a premium closer would demand. That’s why someone like Joe Kelly or Ottovino make so much sense.

  2. Of course with Kenley , the rise in HR’s allowed was attributed to his slow start and to those medications that made feel less than 100%. In any case, Ottavino would be a good sign because he also has that closer experience. In any even Kenly can opt out of his deal after the 2019 season so wss.

  3. The Dodgers haven’t spent big money on the ‘pen beyond the closer.
    The Red Sox haven’t spent big money on the ‘pen beyond the closer.
    The Astros haven’t spent big money on the ‘pen beyond the closer.
    The Cubs haven’t spent big money on the ‘pen beyond the closer.

    If there’s any type of multiple team action on him, why start with ottavino?

  4. Mike Elias is an interesting call for the Orioles. Ben Cherington was in the mix with proven track record and strong resume.

    Colletti didn’t get it to nobody’s surprise.

    Orioles ownership, which has never gone towards funding an analytics dept, is sending a message about their belief in them with this hire.

  5. Dodgers lost another coach. Luis Ortiz, the assistant hitting coach went to Texas to be on Woodward’s staff. Dodgers signed Kevin Quackenbush to a minor league deal. They also lost another front office guy.

      1. I have heard that, but this is not imitation, it’s pilfering. It is imitation when you ape the other guys methods, when you go after their people that’s pilfering.

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