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Ranking the Rockies: No. 11 Adam Ottavino gave us a glimpse into the future

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Adam Ottavino was filthy this year, and then he was gone. But he'll be back soon, and hopefully the filthiness will continue!

Adam Ottavino was filthy in 2015.
Adam Ottavino was filthy in 2015.
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

There's not much to say about how filthy Adam Ottavino was in 2015, and I think this will be the shortest player review by far of all the ones I've completed this offseason. (Woo hoo, the crowd cheers!) Seriously though, how do you wrap up Ottavino's 2015 in any long, drawn out way? The dude was dominant, he wasn't around for very long, and it's all (probably a little bit overly optimistic) speculation from here on for next summer.

He allowed just three hits and two walks—with no runs—in ten appearances (10.1 innings pitched), striking out 13 hitters and picking up a win and three saves. He became the Rockies' closer for two weeks in mid-April after LaTroy Hawkins lost the job, but a torn ulnar collateral ligament shut down Ottavino's season after his appearance on April 25 and sent the Rockies' bullpen into a tailspin.

Now, after a year off recovering from Tommy John surgery (during which he produced a very interesting video about his rehabilitation), Ottavino will be back with the Rockies by mid-season in 2016 and will presumably (hopefully!) return to expanding that glimpse of dominance he gave us back in April.

Adam Ottavino's 2016 outlook

Hopefully Ottavino's ten appearances in 2015 were just a preview of what's to come after elbow surgery—a vision of a future for the Rockies that includes relatively dependable bullpens and pitchers in consistent roles. After all, the Rockies' bullpen always needs another power arm that misses bats, and Ottavino's development in the 'pen has been a long time coming to reach that ninth inning role.

Ottavino will hit arbitration again this winter, and then free agency in 2018, so the Rockies have at least a few more years to figure out their path with him in the back end of the 'pen. He's as strong a part of the Rockies next several years as nearly anyone on the pitching staff (assuming good health, of course), and there's every reason to think he's going to have a very positive impact on the relief corps when he returns in the middle of 2016.

Obviously, as with any surgery, there's always a risk that Ottavino may not return as dominant as he was before the injury. But considering the track record—including those who improved after Tommy John surgery—it's clearly a risk the Rockies and the rest of baseball continue to be willing to take, even despite an apparent "epidemic" of these surgeries in the game.

Here's hoping rehab has done Ottavino well, and the recovery risk pans out for the Rockies in 2016. Lord knows they're going to need him in the bullpen.