The curious case of postseason Adam Ottavino
One of the most prized offseason acquisitions of the Yankees, Adam Ottavino has gone from reliable reliever to postseason pariah. He is not the main reason for the Yankees’ downward spiral against the Houston Astros during this ALCS. We can thank Aaron Boone for that. However, his recent have warranted plenty of questioning by the Yankees faithful.
Ottavino was a stellar arm for the Yankees in the regular season. He striking out 88 batters while posting a 1.90 ERA in 73 games. Just like Clayton Kershaw, however, he has yet to show up come playoff time. In seven postseason games in 2019 Ottavino has given up three earned runs and has walked six. Last night, he let up another run.
Just how bad had he been this postseason? Well, he’s making history.
Ottavino has managed to strike out two batters this ALCS, but nobody will remember that. The boo birds have been reigning down on the once-reliable man making $27 million. A true New Yorker, Ottavino is not getting that hometown love he expected when signing with the team.
Then again, he’s getting the exact treatment any struggling New York player has gotten over the years. An unfortunate rite of passage, it can double for him considering his 11+ ERA.
Perhaps Boone overused him during this season. There’s also the case that the relievers, in general, are being relied upon too often this postseason. With the bats of the Yankees not producing and the rotation what it is, the meltdown was bound to happen. Ottavino’s, however, has been above and beyond everyone’s expectations.
With the Yankees facing elimination tonight, it would be wise for Ottavino to stay in the bullpen clubhouse. If the Yankees, by some miracle, do get a chance to beat Justin Verlander and make it to Houston, perhaps a motivated Ottavino can find his mojo again.
For now, however, Ottavino’s presence should be that of a spectator.
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