Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The results of Jhoulys Chacin‘s MRI are in, and they are just fine relative to how bad the news could have been for the Colorado Rockies.
The showed inflammation that has been classified as a right shoulder strain but nothing worse than that. Chacin will require at least one week of rest before returning to camp, at which point he will have to work towards strengthening the shoulder before he pitches off a mound again.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post passes along the following details about Chacin’s injury:
"His opportunity to break camp with the Rockies is in jeopardy as the calendar will begin working against him. Chacin was prescribed rest for the shoulder strain and will begin a strengthening program. There was no structural damage, and no talk of surgery at this point. The team is not categorizing the injury as serious, believing Chacin will respond to the rehabilitation program.”"
If we accept that cautious brand of optimism, then the Rockies only have to worry about the fact that Chacin will not be available as the Opening Day starter and how they will fill the 5th spot in the rotation for the first few weeks of the season. Jorge De La Rosa, given his track record with the club, would seem to have the inside track on Opening Day with Brett Anderson also in the mix.
As for the back of the rotation, it means that two spots might initially be open instead of just one for the likes of Juan Nicasio, Franklin Morales, Jordan Lyles, and Christian Friedrich. Thinking of two guys in particular, it places a lot more pressure on Nicasio and it might ratchet up the hopefulness for Friedrich to successfully come back.
The Rockies won’t overwhelm the rest of baseball with those options, but it still more depth than what they had in the recent days of Jon Garland, Jamie Moyer (respect) and Jeff Francis. When it comes to Chacin’s injury, the team’s backup plan is risky but not hopeless, as that group of guys has talent and upside, if nothing else.