Dan Otero broke into the big leagues in 2012 and has pitched for the San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics and Cleveland Indians (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images).
At #16 on the top 20 greatest Volcanoes of all time list is right-handed pitcher Dan Otero. Otero broke into the big leagues in 2012 and has played for the San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics and Cleveland Indians.
The 6-foot-3, 214-pounder primarily relies on his 90 mile-per-hour sinker while mixing in an effective four-seam fastball, changeup and slider.
Otero grew up in Florida and attended Ransom Everglades High School before signing to play with the Duke University baseball team. He played at Duke for three seasons (2004-06) before transferring to South Florida University for his senior year.
In his final collegiate season, Otero led the South Florida pitching staff with 82 strikeouts and eight wins in 15 starts. He was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 21st round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft.
Otero started his professional career with the Volcanoes later that summer and was a part of arguably the best squad in franchise history. In 22 appearances as the Salem-Keizer closer, Otero had a 1.21 ERA and converted all 19 of his save opportunities, with an opponent batting average of .152. The Volcanoes went 57-19 on the season and went onto win the Northwest League (NWL) title.
Otero had even more success in full-season A-ball with the Augusta GreenJackets in 2008, posting a 0.33 ERA with 18 saves. He finished the season in advanced A-ball with the San Jose Giants and had 16 saves in 18 opportunities.
Otero spent 2009 with the Double-A Connecticut Defenders and saved 19 of 20 opportunities to go along with his 1.15 ERA. However, due to injury, he was sent down to the Giants rookie league squad in 2010 to make rehab appearances.
In 2011, Otero was back in Double-A with the Richmond Flying Squirrels. While he wasn’t the team’s closer, Otero proved to be reliable in his 23 appearances out of the bullpen with a 1.42 ERA in 28 innings. He finished the season in Triple-A with the Fresno Grizzlies.
The following season, Otero made the Giants opening day roster. He made his debut on April 7, 2012 and recorded his first Major League strikeout against Justin Upton, a four-time all-star and three-time Sliver Slugger award winner.
But with a 5.84 ERA in just 12 innings of work with the Giants, Otero wound up spending the majority of his 2012 season in the minors.
In 2013, however, Otero was claimed off waivers by the Athletics. After spending the first three months with the organization in Triple-A, he was called back up to the big leagues in June of 2013.
Otero proved to be one of Oakland’s most reliable relief pitchers towards the end of the season. He got his first win as a major leaguer on July 2, 2013 against the Chicago Cubs and ended the year with a 2-0 record with a 1.38 ERA in 33 appearances out of the bullpen. He also threw 5.2 innings over four games in the American League Division Series and gave up just four hits and no runs.
The following season, Otero was able to maintain his role as the setup guy for the Athletics. In 86.2 innings, Otero recorded a 2.28 ERA with 45 strikeouts and just 15 walks. He also was third on the team in wins (8), despite not having a single start on the year.
Otero made his second playoff appearance in the 2014 American Wild Card game against the Kansas City Royals. However, he gave up two runs in the bottom of the 12th inning and was the losing pitcher — the Royals eventually advanced to the World Series.
Otero endured his fair share of struggles in the following season with the A’s in 2015 as his ERA ballooned up to 6.75.
However, he would have a bounce back season in 2016 after being picked up by the Indians. In 70.2 innings, Otero brought his ERA back down to 1.53 and had 57 strikeouts and only 10 walks to go along with his 6-2 record.
Otero would also be a key contributor for the Indians in the 2016 playoffs — making multiple appearances in the division series and championship series.
On October 26, 2016, Otero became the first South Florida alum to appear in a World Series game. Otero pitched 1.2 innings in game two of the series against the Chicago Cubs. Otero would get out of a bases loaded jam with one out in the bottom of the seventh, then struck out Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber in the following frame — the Indians lost the series in seven games.
Otero had another solid season with the Indians in 2017, but his effectiveness declined in the following two seasons. The Indians chose to not re-sign Otero for the 2020 season, making him a free agent.
Otero signed a minor league deal with the New York Yankees in 2020, but did not make an appearance.