DENVER -- Rockies left-hander Josh Outman has continued his season-ending roll in the Dominican Winter League. In three starts for Toros del Este, Outman is 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA, with 13 strikeouts against two walks in 15 innings. This is on the heels of Outman finishing the 2012 Major League season by not giving up a run in nine of his final 12 appearances. It's an encouraging finish to what looked to be a difficult season for Outman, acquired last winter from the Athletics. Outman began the year at Triple-A Colorado Springs, posted a 9.82 ERA in 15 Major League games (seven starts) between May 12 and July 12, then found himself at Double-A Tulsa trying to find himself.
In Double-A, Outman was 2-5 with a 3.63 ERA and didn't flourish until his final outing. But his work at the end of the Major League year and in the Dominican suggests he could compete for a spot in the Rockies' rotation or bullpen next spring. Rockies player development director Jeff Bridich said the club has received positive reports from Tony Diaz, the organization's manager at Rookie level Casper last season and the Toros' third-base coach. "He [Outman] has pitched well in every game except one, when he was up in the zone and got away with some things," Bridich said. 'He's commanding the zone, down with all his pitches and really attacking hitters very well." Outman gradually found his form while working with Dave Schuler, the Tulsa pitching coach, before returning to the Rockies. "There were some mechanical things he worked on but really it was a combination of things," Bridich said. "He needed to get back to using all his pitches, and he really needed to rediscover the bottom of the strike zone. That was a big one, because it got him back to attacking hitters instead of trying to touch and feel his way through innings."