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Kahnle a surprise addition to final roster

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies pitching coach Jim Wright knew a few things about Tommy Kahnle coming into spring training, but he learned so much more in the weeks that followed.

Wright knew Kahnle was a power right-hander with a good fastball, but he also heard about the pitcher's control issues.

Wright admitted that he didn't know Kahnle's changeup was so effective, but he was also surprised to learn the pitcher did not have serviceable breaking pitch.

Here's what everyone knows now: Kahnle, a Rule 5 Draft pick from the Yankees, has a new slider and showed better command of the strike zone this spring. Those are two of the reasons he'll break camp with the big league club. The Rockies officially announced their 25-man roster Saturday, a list that includes Kahnle.

"We'll see how it goes. He's a guy who has earned the spot and he's worth the risk," Wright said. "He's a power right-hander, we tried to find a way to get him on the club and he did it."

Kahnle said he's been tweaking his delivery and working on improving his balance on the mound all spring. He changed the grip to his slider last week and used the new pitch Friday night against the Mariners.

"This is a dream come true," Kahnle said.

Kahnle joins a bullpen that includes LaTroy Hawkins, Rex Brothers, Wilton Lopez, Matt Belisle, Adam Ottavino, and Chad Bettis.

"From a baseball side of things, it's been everything I have prepared for this offseason and things this spring are falling into place," Bettis said. "I've really worked on fastballs inside and changeups, and the results have been really nice. But how I feel physically is so much better for me."

The starting rotation will be made up of Jorge De La Rosa, Brett Anderson, Tyler Chatwood, Juan Nicasio and Franklin Morales.

Left-handed-hitting outfielders Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson join Carlos Gonzalez, Michael Cuddyer, Drew Stubbs and Brandon Barnes on the roster.

"My first big league action was in 2011 and at the time, you don't realize how hard it is to stay in the big leagues," Blackmon said. "This is the first time I've been through a Spring Training without any health issue in a long time and I'm really happy about that."

Charlie Culberson, who plays second base, shortstop and third base, and also spent time last year in the outfield corners, will serve as the team's utility man. First baseman Justin Morneau, second baseman DJ LeMahieu, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and third baseman Nolan Arenado round out the infield.

Wilin Rosario and Jordan Pacheco will serve as the team's catchers.

"It wasn't easy," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It took us right up to the eleventh hour, but like I've said all along, those guys are going to be with us. Things can change, and they can change quickly as we are seeing."

Jhoulys Chacin (right shoulder strain) and Boone Logan (left elbow inflammation) will start the season on the 15-day disabled list.

"I have much better feel for the team this year," Weiss said. "I look back on last year and it was a lot of assessment from my point of view. This time a year ago, I was just getting to know our club and I still had that throughout the season. For me, that's been the biggest difference."

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["prospect" ,"spring_training" ] }
{"event":["prospect" ,"spring_training" ] }
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