There were question marks following the announcement that Jhoulys Chacin would the Opening Day starter for the Colorado Rockies.
Chacin has answered those questions through his first four starts with a 3-0 record and 1.46 ERA including a dominant performance in a 3-1 win on Friday, April 19 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Chacin threw 6 1/3 innings but left in the seventh with an injury.
That is the real concern for the Rockies — Chacin may have an injury.
At first the Rockies were hoping it was just spasms when the righty grabbed his back in the seventh inning. There is a thought that it could be worse than that. Chacin said after the game he felt stiffness in his oblique, which could lead to missed starts. If the oblique is strained, the righty could spend some time on the disabled list.
Chacin seems to be coming into his own this season. After being bit by the injury bug last season, he seemed healthy and throwing the best he has in his young big league career. In 2012 he only started 14 games and struggled with his control. He walked 32 in 69 innings. When the team couldn’t figure out what was causing his wildness, they put him on the disabled list with arm fatigue. He spent most of the season there.
He went on the DL on May 1 and didn’t return until Aug. 25. He went 3-2 in his starts at the end of the year and showed the promise that led his to being the ace of the Rockies staff in 2013.
If Chacin misses time, it could be a damper on the Rockies’ season. They have raced out of the gate at 12-4 and sit in first place in the National League West, a place no one thought they would be in. In Friday’s win, the Rockies managed only three hits and still won. That is a testament to how strong Chacin was on the mound.
The best the Rockies can hope for is back spasms and Chacin misses one or two starts. Oblique problems seem to haunt baseball players and give them problems throughout the season. Chacin does not need a lingering injury all season.
The Rockies have pitchers in the minors, Drew Pomeranz, Tyler Chatwood and Christian Friedrich, that could come up to the bigs and help out. The Rockies are crossing their fingers that they don’t need to go that route.
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