Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood only faced five batters on Saturday and only retired one before exiting due to a right calf strain.
Tyler Chatwood did not have a fruitful start on Saturday against the New York Mets as he walked three, allowed four runs in only 1/3 of an inning of work before being pulled from the game due to an injury that was later diagnosed as a strained right calf. After the game, Chatwood talked to the media and said that he felt it in the bullpen when he was warming up for his start but he tried to go on but, obviously, he was unsuccesful MLB.com, that he was On Sunday, he was placed on 10-day disabled due to the injury.
As a corresponding move, Rockies outfielder/first baseman Ian Desmond was activated off the disabled list due to the same injury as Chatwood, ironically enough. Desmond was out for two weeks due to the injury. However, for a right-handed pitcher, as Chatwood is, the right leg is crucial for pitching as the right leg is the leg that they push off of and land on when pitching. Especially if Chatwood’s strain is worse than Desmond’s, it could lead to an extended stay on the disabled list. If so, would it change the Rockies’ trade deadline plans?
Grades of calf strains and recovery time
According to the Boston Sports Medicine & Research Institute in this article, there are three grades of calf strain with the higher grade meaning longer recovery time.
A grade one strain usually takes 7-10 days to heal. This was the grade of strain that Ian Desmond had as he returned in 14 days (to be on the safe side).
A grade two strain is obviously more severe and could take between three and six weeks to heal fully.
A grade three strain results when the muscle and tendon tear completely. This takes months to heal from.
If Chatwood has a grade two or grade three strain, it would be some bad news for the Rockies.
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If Chatwood has a grade two or three strain, it will force the Rockies’ hand before the deadline. In these articles, I discussed that I think that the Rockies will acquire two starters before the deadline. One of the starters mentioned (Jose Quintana) is already off the market as he has since been traded to the Chicago Cubs.
Chatwood could just be out for ten days to two weeks (which would place his return somewhere between July 26 and July 30). However, if it’s three to six weeks (for a grade two strain), that would mean his return would be between August 6 and August 27. If it’s a grade three (which I, of course, not being a doctor, don’t know but I wouldn’t think that it would be), he would essentially be out for the remainder of the season.
Also, if the Rockies’ planned on trading Chatwood as part of a deal at the deadline (regardless of the grade of strain), it would muddy the waters as a team would be a bit skeptical of Chatwood’s health. As per usual, a physical would have to be completed to confirm a trade.
The Rockies do have Chad Bettis and Tyler Anderson both returning in the next month or so but none of the Rockies have extensive experience in the majors (with Chatwood being the exception). The Rockies will be looking for at least one starter that is a veteran that, preferably, has a controllable contract and has playoff experience and the Chatwood injury may have forced their hand to pull the trigger on a trade.