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Motte being eased back into action

MLB.com

DENVER -- The Rockies brought in reliever Jason Motte on a two-year, $10 million deal this offseason to protect leads late in games. After starting the year on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain, it shouldn't be long until Motte moves into a setup role.

Since being activated last Wednesday, Rockies manager Walt Weiss has limited Motte to low-leverage situations. All three of appearances have come with the Rockies trailing by between two and five runs.

Full Game Coverage

DENVER -- The Rockies brought in reliever Jason Motte on a two-year, $10 million deal this offseason to protect leads late in games. After starting the year on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain, it shouldn't be long until Motte moves into a setup role.

Since being activated last Wednesday, Rockies manager Walt Weiss has limited Motte to low-leverage situations. All three of appearances have come with the Rockies trailing by between two and five runs.

Full Game Coverage

"You can't always time it perfect that, 'This is the day I'm going to use you in tight games,'" Weiss said. "I just wanted to give him a couple outings, certainly one here, before I throw him into the heat."

Motte feels back to full health, especially after making six rehab appearances for Triple-A Albuquerque. He's had less success in his three Major League appearances -- two runs over three innings, including a home run to the Reds' Joey Votto on Monday.

"Some people may have more control and then the velocity comes. Some people may be velocity and then control comes later," Motte said. "For me, I try to make sure my arm feels good with my velocity, and then as far as getting the ball where I want it to go, I just put trust in it that it's going to go where it's going to go."

Whenever Weiss believes Motte is ready to take on bigger situations, Motte should be a big asset for the bullpen. The self-professed "adrenaline junkie" has a .199 career batting average against in high-leverage situations compared to .233 batting average against in medium- and low-leverage situations, according to FanGraphs.

"I enjoy pitching in those situations," Motte said. "That's why they brought me over here."

Worth noting

• Right-hander Adam Ottavino threw his second batting-practice session after undergoing Tommy John surgery last May. He threw 25 pitches to bullpen catcher Aaron Munoz along with special assistant Vinny Castilla and first-base coach Eric Young. Ottavino's first batting-practice session was three days ago, and he threw 21 pitches.

• Right-hander Miguel Castro has scuffled a bit since coming off the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. Before the injury, he had given up only one run in six innings with eight strikeouts. Since being activated, Castro has allowed four runs in 3 2/3 innings with just two strikeouts. However, Weiss is unconcerned.

"He had a tough outing yesterday, but I believe the time before he was pretty good," Weiss said. "I wouldn't make too much of it. I just think yesterday was a tough day for him. Mechanically, he got out of whack a little bit."

Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Colorado Rockies, Jason Motte