Rockies: Is Adam Ottavino the Closer for Colorado?

The Rockies closer for 2017 seemed to be Adam Ottavino before the offseason. However, signing Greg Holland may have changed those plans.

The Colorado Rockies can be a surprise team in the National League West this season. The offense is solid and the starting pitchers are good enough. Though, the bullpen could be the team’s biggest strength. With the team bringing in Greg Holland, does Adam Ottavino lose fantasy value?

Ottavino took over the closer role in August when he recorded his first save on Aug. 11. He finished the season with seven saves. Ottavino posted a 2.67 ERA, 0.926 WHIP and 11.7 K/9 in 27 innings. Entering this season, he was getting a lot of love as a top-25 reliever.

However, the Rockies front office decided to add depth to the bullpen. Despite having Jake McGee and Carlos Esteves, both recorded at least 10 saves, they signed Greg Holland. Granted, McGee and Esteves had ERAs close to or over 5.00, so another reliever was necessary.

Holland hasn’t pitched since 2015 in a shortened season before he underwent Tommy John surgery. In his last full season, Holland posted a 1.44 ERA, 0.914 WHIP, 13.0 K/9 and 46 saves.

He was one of the top five closers in the league. Holland pitched most of his innings in Kansas City and the rest of the AL Central, so take that with a grain of salt.

Pitchers usually don’t fair well in Colorado. In 2016, Coors Field ranked first in runs scored and hits and third in home runs. According to Baseball Reference, the Rockies pitching staff allowed 181 home runs (home and away), 11th in the National League.

There is always a risk when drafting a pitcher just coming off TJ surgery. Looking at the Spring Training numbers, things don’t look good for either pitcher. Holland has a 6.75 ERA, 1.880 WHIP and a 3:2 K:BB ratio in 2.2 innings. Ottavino, in 6.2 innings, has a 4.05 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and 9:4 K:BB ratio.

I know the sample sizes are small, but they could be predictors of what to expect this season.

If you didn’t draft yet, you may want to adjust your Colorado relief pitcher rankings. According to the Rockies official MLB page, Holland is listed as the closer. Ottavino will still have value as a set-up man, but his ADP will drop without the save opportunities.