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Inbox: Who will replace Ottavino in bullpen?

Beat reporter Thomas Harding answers fans' questions
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

It was difficult for the Rockies and their fans to see Adam Ottavino take his slider and his familiar No. 0 to the Yankees. But the Rockies should have the quality depth and experience to cover for him.

Tweet from @fperez2231: Who are the Rockies relying on to step up since Otto is gone? A lot of names in the bullpen but none as consistent as Otto

It was difficult for the Rockies and their fans to see Adam Ottavino take his slider and his familiar No. 0 to the Yankees. But the Rockies should have the quality depth and experience to cover for him.

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Righty Seunghwan Oh was acquired in a trade with the Blue Jays last season. He made his Colorado debut on July 28 and went on to compile a 2.53 ERA and .626 OPS average against and threw 66 percent strikes with the Rockies. During that time, righty Scott Oberg posted a 1.91 ERA, .487 OPS against and 69 percent strikes. Ottavino had a more consistent overall season, but during that crucial period had a 4.13 ERA, .578 OPS and 61 percent strikes.

There is still a hole. But Oberg, Oh and closer Wade Davis -- who went 15-for-17 during that stretch in save chances, and converted his final 12 after a two-game hiccup -- can absorb the late innings that went to Ottavino. A resurgence from Bryan Shaw also could help.

Improving left-handed performance is as important as filling Ottavino's right-handed role.

Oh has yielded a respectable .256 average and .328 on-base percentage against left-handed hitters, but the Rockies need lefties Chris Rusin and Jake McGee to rebound from rough years, and Mike Dunn to find health after season-ending shoulder surgery. Rusin struggled for much of '18 but finished strong -- a .194 average and .468 OPS against in the final regular-season month.

Tweet from @itsMalone: Is CarGo coming back a possibility for the 2019 season?

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman tweeted Thursday that the Rockies are interested, and other teams are in on him. Indications I've received suggest the Rockies -- with David Dahl ready to move into a starting role and Raimel Tapia having excelled in the Minors and needing to do it in the Majors -- are not making such a push. The Minor League contract for Mark Reynolds, a right-handed hitter who can play first base, was a better fit.

Last winter the Rockies didn't make a push until they got to Spring Training and needed CarGo because Dahl was coming off injury and Tapia did not impress in camp.

The open 40-man roster spot seems better suited for a reliever, or if catching can be upgraded.

Who in the top 30 do you see making an impact? Daza, Hillard, and Mundell all have 2019 debut projections. Do you see them having more than a cup of coffee? Same question with Ben Bowden and Justin Lawrence. What prospect that no one is talking about now will be a name to watch?
-- @Pat_Leipold via Twitter

I would look more at righty Jesus Tinoco, who made 26 starts at Double-A and showed velocity out of the bullpen in the Arizona Fall League. Also, the rotation is a strength, but it will be interesting if fast-moving righty Peter Lambert can fight his way into Major League starts.

Tweet from @LaVieEnBleu108: How comfortable is the team with Tony Wolters backing up Chris Ianetta?Could they give up enough for Realmuto?Would that be enough for Arenado to consider an extension?

Whether the Rockies reach a multi-year deal with Arenado will be between him and the club and likely won't depend on who else is on the roster. With the Rockies not interested in giving up major young talent, I don't see them swinging a winter deal for Realmuto.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies