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Strong in relief, Ottavino open to any role

Strong in relief, Ottavino open to any role

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies right-hander Adam Ottavino has found his big league footing as a jack-of-all-trades relief pitcher. The intriguing question: Which traits will he master?

"I've never been a one-inning person, ever," Ottavino said Sunday, a day after pitching two spotless innings in a 4-4 tie with the Angels. "I just try to get guys out until they take me out. That's the situation I'm in."

Ottavino, 28, was a starter with the Cardinals' organization in 2006-11 but found his Major League footing in the bullpen with the Rockies. He is 6-4 with a 3.60 ERA in 104 appearances with Colorado, including 1-3 with a 2.64 ERA in 51 appearances covering 78 1/3 innings last season.

It's not as if Ottavino, who has a slider that is difficult to pick up, changed his personality when he converted to a reliever.

"I'm different just because of my natural evolution as a pitcher that brought me to this point," Ottavino said. "I think I would have gotten to this point as a starter, too -- mixing it up more and probably changing my strategy a little bit. It just happened quicker in the bullpen because a more obvious thing to do was switch my approach up."

Not even Ottavino knows where his new-found approach will take his career.

"I think the ultimate challenge is starting, but I think that ship has probably sailed," Ottavino said. "I don't know. I think I could do any role. I think it would be a good rush to close out games. But anything, really. I try not to think about it too much. I try to attack each hitter like it's the only one that matters."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. 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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