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Scahill making case for middle-relief role with Rox

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies have taken a long look at right-hander Rob Scahill.

Scahill, 26, an eighth-round pick out of Bradley in the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft, started 29 games at Triple-A Colorado Springs last year and had just one relief appearance in 98 Minor League games. But in his six-game Major League debut last season, he pitched exclusively in relief and posted a 1.04 ERA.

This spring, Scahill has a 1.93 ERA, one save with two walks and a strikeout in five relief appearances covering 4 2/3 innings, with his work coming at the end of games. He appears to be toward the back of the line when it comes to candidates for middle-relief roles on the season-opening roster, but he could be hard to ignore.

"I was told that hybrid [middle-relief] role is what I should expect, and I've gotten lucky enough that I've been able to get in games," Scahill said. "It just so happens that it's been in the ninth inning. I've been getting opportunities to show what I can do and for the most part I've done well. That's all I can do."

Scahill was 9-11 with a 5.68 ERA, 159 strikeouts and 74 walks last year at Colorado Springs and has 461 strikeouts to 213 walks in his Minor League career. Scahill, who has confidence in his fastball and slider and is trying to develop a changeup, said being in the bullpen has increased his desire to attack the strike zone.

"I'm a lot more aggressive, which I should've been as a starter, looking back at it," Scahill said. "Out of the bullpen I try to come after people with my best stuff."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"event":["spring_training" ] }
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