The grumblings that surrounded Tyler Chatwood‘s elbow injury felt ominous. The Colorado Rockies and their fans awaited the results of an MRI, hoping to be pleasantly surprised by good news.
That good news came when Chatwood learned the results of his MRI, which revealed a less serious injury in his pitching elbow than many feared. From Nick Groke of the Denver Post:
Tyler Chatwood on Thursday was diagnosed with a flexor strain with inflammation in his right pitching elbow, he said, dodging what could have been another significant injury to the Rockies starting rotation.
‘I’ve had pain in the flexor before,’ Chatwood said. ‘It could have been a lot worse. I’m glad it’s not.'”
There is no timetable for his return, but I would think it is feasible that the Rockies could have their “big three” in the rotation back in tact by sometime in June (Chatwood, Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge De La Rosa). Combine that with the emergence of Jordan Lyles, the flashes of brilliance from Juan Nicasio, the impending arrival of Eddie Butler and the eventual return of Brett Anderson, and I dare say there is legitimate depth in that Rockies rotation. That can be undone in an instant by injuries, as the Rockies know all too well, but as guys start to get healthy this team looks strong with starting pitching.
As for outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, he was forced to exit Thursday’s tilt when his left index finger “blew up” after he jammed it. For a guy who essentially lost half of the 2013 season to a finger injury on his right hand, this seemed like bad news. But like Chatwood, CarGo and the Rockies believe the injury is nothing serious. Per Groke:
‘It’s not like last year,’ Gonzalez said. ‘I just got jammed. It happens. It’s not a ligament thing like last year.’
“I don’t think he’s gonna miss a lot of time,” Weiss added.
For a team whose drumbeat before the season was the need to avoid injuries, the Rockies have not been a terribly healthy team thus far. With injuries to major players and especially to the rotation, you might expect that Colorado would be in an early hole record-wise…yet they are 17-13 thus far. When you put it that way, there is plenty to be optimistic about in 2014.