Raise your hand if you’ve read “A Tale of Two Cities”. Okay, never mind. Instead let me tell you about the tale of two half seasons. Colorado Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin started last season with a big time slump. He couldn’t strike out the Easter Bunny without a bat. Forgive my Easter humor, but suffice it to say Chacin was struggling at the beginning of 2012. By the time he ended the season he was feeling great about the follow-up season in 2013.
Let’s get specific about it for a moment. The first part of last season saw Chacin post a 0-3 record in only five games with an elevated ERA of 7.50. Then something interesting happened. Chacin wound up spending an extended period of time on the disabled list. What happened next was hard to foretell. He returned late in the season healthy and ready to pitch. Chacin then posted a 3-2 record over nine starts with a drastically better 2.84 ERA.
Everything was better when he came back. I saw one at-bat where he had David Wright with runners on the corners and less than two outs. The little sinker Chacin threw Wright couldn’t have been walked down and placed in a better spot. Wright struck out swinging. In that situation, that is no small feat.
There is little reason to believe that Chacin will be anything other than what he was when the season ended. I’m not sure what he did when he was out of action but whatever it was needs to be bottled and sold to pitchers everywhere. The result is a well deserved opening day start for Chacin who can be seen now as the unquestioned ace of this pitching staff. What a great turnaround.