Jhoulys Chacin has developed into a legitimate top end of the rotation starter for the Colorado Rockies. After bursting onto the scene as a young rookie and having success in his first 15 starts, he was inconsistent in his first full season as a Rockie but with much to be excited about. Then came his disastrous 2012 season. He went into the season as the number one starter with Jorge De La Rosa not expected in the rotation until mid-season. But he arrived at Spring Training out of shape and hit the DL early and often throughout that 2012 campaign. He struggled and lost confidence from Rockies fans.
2013 has been a re-emergence for Chacin. He is having one of the best seasons ever by a Rockies starter and looks to be the anchor of the rotation for years to come. How is he doing this? For one, he hardly ever throws a straight fastball. His fastball has good movement both across the plate and downward. This allows him to get ground balls early in counts. He has also learned to locate this pitch to both sides of the plate.
His change up and slider have always been considered plus pitches, but now they are plus pitches that he can locate and throw at any time in the count. He has become a professional pitcher with command of three plus pitches and the ability to get ahead of hitters and limit his pitches per inning. He has become a horse for this Rockies’ rotation throwing seven innings or more in ten games this year. He is also 4th in the NL in WAR behind only Clayton Kershaw, Matt Harvey and Adam Wainwright.
No one is talking about Chacin, but they should be. Rockies fans have been hurt before by potential long term aces in the rotation like Jeff Francis, Ubaldo Jimenez and Jason Jennings, but Chacin is different. Let’s hope the Rockies lock him up soon.