Tyler Chatwood Deserves NL Comeback Player of the Year
By Kevin Henry
An article was recently published listing the top candidates for the American League and National League Comeback Player of the Year. For some reason, Tyler Chatwood of the Colorado Rockies was not listed among the five players from the National League. It’s time to make sure he gets the push for the award he very much deserves.
Chatwood capped a historical season last night at AT&T Park, blanking the San Francisco Giants over eight innings in a 2-0 Colorado win. His three hits and season-high nine strikeouts helped the Rockies snap an eight-game losing streak on the road.
While Colorado has not fared well lately on the road, away from Coors Field is where Chatwood has thrived this season. On the road, Chatwood finished 2016 with an 8-1 mark and 1.69 ERA in 80 innings pitched. That’s a new Colorado record for road ERA and is tops in Major League Baseball this season for any pitcher away from home.
It’s part of an impressive campaign that saw Chatwood come back from his second Tommy John surgery to post a 12-9 record and 3.87 ERA.
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There were questions about Chatwood and how he would fare when spring training began. The 26-year-old right-hander answered them and so many more as the season went along.
Think about some of his great outings this season. A two-hit shutout over seven innings at Wrigley Field in April. An eight-inning shutout limiting San Diego to just three hits in May. A one-hit, one-run effort over eight innings at Dodger Stadium in June.
“I’ve been happy and proud of myself for what I’ve done this year,” Chatwood told reporters after the game. “I’m proud of myself for what I was able to overcome. To finish on that note was awesome.”
Chatwood knows the Rockies took a chance on him this season. He also knows he came through for the team time and time again. He should be a big part of Colorado’s young and talented rotation when the 2017 season opens.
“I’m proud of myself, and I thank the Rockies for sticking with me,” he added after the game. “After that second [surgery], you never know what you’re going to get, and I thank my family for being there the whole time. I had a great support system.”
I wrote earlier this season about how Chatwood should be considered for the Comeback award. Those feelings have only intensified as the season has gone along. Last night’s win in San Francisco over a Giants team pushing for the playoffs should be the exclamation point on the argument.
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Certainly there are a lot of players in the National League who are deserving of the award. Chatwood has certainly at the very least earned his place in that discussion.