After the worrying removal of Tyler Chatwood in the bottom of the sixth inning with the ever-worrying “elbow tightness”, the Colorado Rockies needed some good news, especially about a pitcher. And they got it. Last night, in his second rehabilitation start, Jhoulys Chacin went six strong innings, leading the Colorado Springs Sky Sox to a 7-1 win. After giving up a first inning RBI single to top prospect Oscar Taveras, Chacin threw five more innings, ending up with just one run allowed in six innings. That’s not to say Chacin was perfect; he walked four and threw 96 pitches in the six innings, which shows he is still rusty and that there will likely be an adjustment period. But most importantly, Chacin suffered no setbacks following his fourth, best, and likely final rehab start.
Jhoulys Chacin could well return to the rotation on Sunday against the New York Mets. That makes sense mainly for two reasons. The first is that Chacin would be on his normal rest, having started last night. The second is that it would also normally be Chatwood’s day to start. But elbow tightness is a tricky and scary thing, and although he might be back soon, I think it would be safer and make more sense to put him on the DL and see how his elbow responds in a couple of weeks. Whether Chacin comes back on Sunday, Monday, or sometime in the middle of next week, the fact that he’s on the cusp of returning is refreshing. Remember, he was one of the only reliable pitchers on the team last year, and could be a huge upgrade over Franklin Morales or Juan Nicasio. On a team that had playoff aspirations- and look like a playoff team so far- all help is appreciated, and Chacin looks ready to contribute to the 2014 Rockies. So let’s hope that Chatwood’s “elbow tightness” is just that and nothing more, so Walt Weiss and the Rockies will have a rotation decision to make. For the first time in a while, it would be a tough decision not because both options are bad, but because both (Nicasio and Morales) are solid. The bottom line is that, after a solid rehab start, Jhoulys Chacin is back!