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Ottavino setting up for important role in 2014

Ottavino setting up for important role in 2014


DENVER -- September callups mean fresh arms in the bullpen and new roles for relievers who have been mainstays.

For Adam Ottavino, used as a multiple-inning, middle reliever by the Rockies for much of the season, it's meant a transition to a late-inning setup man. His last eight appearances have each lasted just one inning, none coming earlier than the sixth.

Ottavino said his approach hasn't changed, and it's certainly looked like a smooth transition as he's allowed only one run over those eight appearances.

"I've thrown a lot of innings already and with other guys being in that long role, then it just opened up more opportunity for me to pitch situationally," Ottavino said.

Ottavino been in the one-inning role before, having done it when he was first called up in 2012 and also serving as a part-time closer in college at Northeastern.

But manager Walt Weiss sees Ottavino's current role as his more than just a temporary assignment. While he has the pitch arsenal to be a longer-inning reliever, Weiss like how Ottavino has handled the pressure of a late-game situations with a slim lead.

"That was the plan in the second half, to get him more of those innings -- one-inning appearances late in the game," Weiss said. "He's had a handful of those seventh-inning appearances with the lead, and he's handles it really well. I think that's what Otto's evolving into.

"As we look at our club next year, he's one of the candidates for one of those back-end guys in the bullpen."

Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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