Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Meet the 2019 Yankees: Adam Ottavino

The New York Yankees completed their super bullpen this offseason when they signed a right-hander originally out of New York named Adam Ottavino. Ottavino was signed to a three-year deal worth $27 million by the Yankees on January 24, 2019 to essentially replace the recently departed David Robertson in the pen. Ottavino was the first ever Yankee to be awarded the “0” uniform number, which is essentially the last single digit uniform number in the Yankee’s history. Let’s meet the man that should be giving Gary Sanchez absolute fits all season long. Let’s meet your 2019 Yankees. Let’s meet Brooklyn-native Adam Ottavino.

Adam Ottavino, 33-years old, is a right-handed pitcher that will stroll in from the Yankees bullpen with his 6’5” and 220 lb. frame all season long in the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th innings. Ottavino’s pitching sequence includes an 82 MPH slider, a 95 MPH sinker, an 88 MPH cutter, a 94 MPH four-seam fastball and a 90 MPH changeup that he uses from time-to-time. Ottavino is all movement and deception and will give Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez a nice challenge behind the dish with this repertoire. For what it’s worth, not that I think Ottavino will see much of the plate for the Yankees, Adam is also a switch-hitter, which may explain why the Yankees didn’t sign more left-handed hitters this winter. Ottavino can balance the lineup!

image credit Elite Sports NY

Adam Robert Ottavino was born on November 22, 1985 in Brooklyn, New York where he attended P.S. 39, The Henry Bristow School in the Park Slope neighborhood. Ottavino remained in Brooklyn throughout his High School years where he graduated from Berkley Carroll School. While at Berkley Carroll the right-handed pitcher caught the eye of the Tampa Bay Rays who selected Ottavino in the 30th round of the 2003 MLB First Year Players Draft. Ottavino did not sign with Tampa and instead headed to Northeastern University to play college baseball for the Northeastern Huskies. While at Northeastern, Ottavino was able to compile both the single-season and all-time strikeouts records for the school while also earning the honor of being named American’s East Conference’s Pitcher of the Year in 2005.

After the 2005 season the St. Louis Cardinals came calling in the first round, 30th overall, of the 2006 MLB First Year Players Draft. Ottavino signed quickly and was immediately assigned to the Cardinals minor league system. Ottavino toiled around in the minor league system for St. Louis before making his MLB debut for the team as a starting pitcher in 2010. Ottavino was re-assigned off the team’s 40-man roster after five appearances but was ultimately added back to the team’s 40-man roster after the 2011 season. The Cardinals ultimately placed Ottavino on waivers before the 2012 season and the Colorado Rockies came calling, claiming the right-hander off waivers on April 3, 2012 and immediately assigned him to their minor league system.

Ottavino also represented Team Italy in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Ottavino made one appearance during the tournament, pitching three scoreless innings against Team Venezuela. 

It was the 2012 season that saw the Rockies begin developing Ottavino as a relief pitcher. It was during the 2013 season that Ottavino changed his number on his uniform to 0, an ode to the “O” in Ottavino. Ottavino struggled mightily during his transition from starter to the bullpen in 2013 and 2014, but the right-hander was moved to the Rockies closers role in 2015 after Colorado learned that closer LaTroy Hawkins struggled early on. Ottavino was not in the closer’s role for long though, unfortunately, after a scan determined that Adam had torn his ulnar collateral ligament. The UCL injury required Tommy John surgery and it ended his 2015 campaign prematurely. Despite the injury the Colorado Rockies showed their commitment to Ottavino, signing him to three-year deal worth $10.4 million. Ottavino spent the first part of the 2016 season on the disabled list before coming back completely healthy in 2017. Ottavino broke out in his contract season of 2018 and headed into free agency off the heels of easily his best season in the Majors.

The Yankees came calling and snatched up Ottavino off the free agent market to solidify and complete their bullpen. Welcome back to the great state of New York, welcome to the greatest organization in all of professional sports, and welcome to the family, Adam.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)