IS JHOULYS WATCHING A PROMISING CAREER WALK AWAY? WILL THE BEST PITCHER
THE ROCKIES HAVE EVER DEVELOPED END UP BEING A BUST?
Jhoulys Chacin may go down in Rockies lore as the most frustrating player they ever had. He has amazing ability. But he doesn’t have the work ethic. The Rockies have tried to challenge him, and have seen him rise the occasion. And then he pulls what he did last offseason, not working out and getting his shoulder and arm in shape for the season, and the end result is bad for him and even worse for the Rockies.
They gave Chacin a 2 year deal in 2013, with the expectation he would continue to work hard and develop. And 2013 worked great, as he had his 2nd best season of his career and was establishing himself as the team’s best pitcher. When you go 14-10 with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.262 WHIP pitching half the time at Coors, you deserve to be talked about as one of the better pitchers in the National League. The Rockies thought they were going to have a pretty darn good rotation in 2014: Chacin, De La Rosa, Anderson, Chatwood, and who ever won the #5 spot. That should have been a rotation to compete for a playoff spot. Anderson and Chatwood didn’t even make 10 starts. DLR did his thing. Nicasio earned the 5 spot and then imploded. But the fact is that 2014 blew up before the team even headed to Miami to start the season.
Chacin came in out of shape. His shoulder was hurting by the end of the first week of Spring Training. And he never looked ready the whole season. He pitched well at Colorado Springs to get his shot back with the team after his injuries “healed” but he never was right.
|11 starts||1-7||5.40 ERA||5.2 inn/start||1.437 WHIP||42/28 K/BB|
And the fact is he just never had consistent innings. He would look great for two batters, and then lose it. He now know that whatever happened in the Spring resulted in a badly injured shoulder. He has smartly decided to do re-hab and see how things go, since shoulder surgery is usually a career ender (or like Jeff Francis, such a change you are just not the guy you were). So we shall see how things go in 2015. But for 2014 Chacin gave them 2 months of frustrating starts.
Chacin went 6 innings or more in 6 starts.
He gave up 4 ER in 3 games.
He gave up less than 4 in 6 starts (including a gem against Atlanta at home in June)
He also gave up 5 ER and 7 ER in his last two starts (when he was clearly hurting), which did explode his numbers.
So that is his season. From staff ace to 11 starts, only 6 of them ones that set the team up to win.
D – I am being pretty hard here because he was expected to lead this staff, and with this team and most smaller budget teams, you cannot live with disappointment at the top of your rotation. They needed 30 starts from him. They needed at least 20 of them to be Quality Starts. They needed him to give them 7 innings at least a third of the time (in 2013 he gave them 20 out of 31 starts as quality starts). His injury set the team up for failure, despite it taking 2 months for it to fully take effect.
This is really hard, because we simply don’t know when that shoulder is going to give way fully. He is said to be working very hard all off-season, and the Rox believe in him enough to give him $5.5 million and a roster spot, which as we saw with Juan Nicasio, is a big thing with this team. So here are the two alternative projections:
|Health||29 starts||13-10||4.05 ERA||WHIP 1.285|
|Bum shoulder||12 starts||3-6||5.10 ERA||WHIP 1.410|
As many of us wonder about the moves that Rox might make to help the rotation before the beginning of Spring Training, this is arguably the biggest piece the team has hanging out there. If Chacin is healthy and pitches like 2013, then its like acquiring a #2 from another team. If not, they are going to have to lean heavily on the kids, which doesn’t bode well for 2015 and any chance of the playoffs.