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LHP Outman Wants To Earn A Rockies Roster Spot

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Josh Outman (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Josh Outman (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Josh Outman is hoping his pitching career can blossom with the Colorado Rockies.

Out for nearly two years after major surgery on his left elbow, Outman feels fully recovered. He’ll try to prove that in camp this spring.

Outman was traded from Oakland to Colorado in January, with the Rockies marking his third system in four years.

“I’m excited about being part of this team, this organization,” Outman said Wednesday. “Hopefully this is the place I settle in. I feel this is the year I will put it all together and show what I am capable of.”

There’s certainly an opportunity with the Rockies, a team with a bevy of young arms but not much experience outside of Jeremy Guthrie and, should he make the team, 49-year-old Jamie Moyer.

“He’s a great kid and I know he was highly thought of in Oakland,” Rockies pitching coach Bob Apodaca said. “He was also highly thought of by our Triple-A manager (Stu Cole) and pitching coach (Bo McLaughlin) and others who scouted him.”

The Rockies got him with pitcher Guillermo Moscoso for the A’s for outfielder Seth Smith.

Outman made his major league debut with the A’s in 2008 after beginning the year with the Philadelphia Phillies in spring training. He first met Moyer in that camp.

“He took the time to talk to anyone who had a question,” Outman said. “He always helped the younger guys and I learned a lot from him. I was able to get the major leagues faster because of what he taught me.”

Outman has appeared in 33 games, 25 starts, over three seasons. He’s 8-8 with a career 3.75 ERA.

He opened the 2009 season in the A’s starting rotation and was 4-1 entering a game against the San Diego Padres on June 19, 2009. He felt some tightness in his left arm after allowing a home run in the second. He tried to pitch through it but never finished the inning.

Outman’s next major league appearance was May 23, 2011.

“I was healthy all year but it wasn’t until September that I felt I was close to the level I was before the injury,” Outman said. “I’ve had some positive bullpen sessions and am looking forward to pitching with this defense behind me.”

Outman changed his offseason routine, focusing more on arm strength rather than aerobatics. It’s helped him come to camp with a positive outlook.

“I feel I came in stronger and in better shape,” he said. “Coach Apodaca is very high on what I am capable of doing and I get an overall good feeling.”

Guthrie, whom the Rockies acquired in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles, and Jhoulys Chacin will likely take two spots in the rotation, and Jorge De La Rosa will join it sometime in May or June after completing rehabbing his own left elbow surgery.

Outman, Moyer, Drew Pomeranz, Tyler Chatwood, Alex White and Moscoso are all candidates to fill out the rotation.

“There’s no getting around it, pitching-wise this will be a very competitive camp,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “It’s one thing to have numbers and another to have strength in numbers, which I believe we have.”

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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