Black: Chatwood looks all right
Tyler Chatwood, the Rockies’ strikeout leader this season, is on the disabled list. But he returned to Coors Field healthy enough for simulated baseball Friday.
The 27-year-old right-hander, the nearest approximation the Rockies have to a veteran starter, pitched two simulated innings as part of his recovery from a strained calf. He suffered the injury in the first inning of a July 15 start in New York against the Mets.
“He did fine. Felt great. Ball was coming out fine. No issues with the calf,” manager Bud Black said. “We’ll chart the next course of action, but physically he’s in a really positive spot. So we feel good about that, and so does Tyler.”
Chatwood threw about 44 pitches — against utility infielder Pat Valaika, a right-handed hitter, and catcher Tony Wolters, a lefthanded hitter. His stint on the DL can end next week while the Rockies are in St. Louis for a series against the Cardinals, but Black wouldn’t commit to a timeline for Chatwood’s return.
“We’re working through that now,” Black said.
Even with his abbreviated start last week, Chatwood remains the Rockies’ second-most active pitcher this season, hurling 106L innings, behind only rookie lefthander Kyle Freeland. But the Rockies used Freeland in three innings of relief behind Chatwood in New York, then pushed back his next start to Sunday. It was part of a continuing effort to keep a rookie rotation fresh with an eye toward September.
Chatwood’s DL stint, then, fits within a pattern, even if unintentionally.
“We’ll continue to throw them out there,” Black said. “And we do know, with Chatwood and Tyler Anderson — when he comes back — and Chad Bettis — when he gets up to full speed — we feel as though we have talented depth to help us.”
Anderson (knee surgery) continues to work only in the training and weight rooms, and he played catch in a brace this week. Bettis (recovering from cancer) will make his third rehab appearance Sunday for Albuquerque, his first with the Triple-A Isotopes.
Nolan Arenado’s outstanding game Tuesday, when he hit three home runs and went 5-for-6 with seven RBIs, matched a rare feat. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other player active in the majors to homer in three consecutive innings is Baltimore’s Manny Machado, who did it last season.
The only other Rockie to hit three home runs so quickly? Andres Galarraga, who did it in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field in 1995.
Arenado hired a professional DJ to blast music from portable speakers in front of Colorado’s dugout during batting practice. “There were all sorts of situations I pitched in, in different environments,” Black said. “But I haven’t pitched in 23 years. The music was a little different back then. But I like it.”… Former Rocky Mountain High School star Marco Gonzales was traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Seattle Mariners on Friday. Gonzales, a 25-year-old lefty, missed all of 2016 after Tommy John surgery. The Cardinals received Triple-A outfielder Tyler O’Neill, the 38thranked prospect in baseball, according to Baseball America.