Earlier this week Rockies manager Walt Weiss announced that LaTroy Hawkins would get some time off from the closer role and now he’s named Adam Ottavino as the new closer.
Ottavino picked up his first save of the season Tuesday night, striking out all three batters he faced against the Giants. Rafael Betancourt, who was the Rockies’ closer before his elbow injury opened the door for Hawkins to claim the gig, served as Ottavino’s eighth-inning setup man.
Ottavino didn’t show much promise early in his career, but the right-hander used FanGraphs to find sabermetric ways to adjust his pitching style and it’s paid off in a huge way. He’s got a 2.97 ERA and 158 strikeouts in 149 innings since 2013, compared to a 5.42 ERA previously.
Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.
Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”
Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.
Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.