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Scahill improves command as full-time reliever

Scahill improves command as full-time reliever

Scahill improves command as full-time reliever

DENVER -- Right-handed reliever Rob Scahill hopes he won't be overlooked when the Rockies make their plan for the future.

Scahill, 26, followed up six encouraging appearances last season (1.04 ERA in 8 2/3 innings) with some intriguing work in 20 Major League games this year.

On Tuesday, he replaced an ineffective Juan Nicasio and went 2 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on a Matt Holliday home run. But Scahill, in his first year as a full-time reliever, has pitched scoreless ball in all but five of his appearances and has a 4.60 ERA. At Triple-A Colorado Springs, he went 5-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 23 games covering 46 innings.

The key stat for him was he struck out 45 against 11 walks -- 2.2 walks per nine innings. Last season in Triple-A, when starting all 29 of his appearances, he finished with 159 strikeouts against 74 walks -- 4.4 walks per nine. The improved control could earn him some middle innings for the Rockies, who use their bullpen extensively and need dependable relief when a starter exits.

"I just want to try to leave an impression for next year," Scahill said. "I'm throwing strikes. That was one of the things I'd struggled with in the Minor Leagues, being consistent in the strike zone. That's something I worked very hard on. I feel I've been successful.

"Before, I just had bad misses. I wanted to eliminate completely worthless pitches. Every pitch should have a purpose."

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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