DE­CI­SION SOON ON CHATWOOD’S PLACE IN RO­TA­TION

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - Nick Groke, The Den­ver Post

The Rock­ies, in the dif­fi­cult po­si­tion of man­u­fac­tur­ing pa­tience for their most ex­pe­ri­enced pitcher, will soon come to a de­ci­sion with Tyler Chatwood.

Colorado man­ager Bud Black on Thurs­day praised parts of Chatwood’s game, a day af­ter the 27year-old right-han­der gave up seven runs in 5 L in­nings of a 10-5 loss to the Mets. But Black also drew a line around his ro­ta­tion.

“When Chad Bet­tis comes back (from a re­hab as­sign­ment), some guys will have to be moved out of the ro­ta­tion,” Black said. “We will have seven guys who we can look at as start­ing pitch­ers. And we’ll need to look at who we want to start and who goes to the pen.”

Chatwood’s out­ing Wed­nes­day, then, was a trial for his spot among start­ing pitch­ers. At 6-12 with a 5.11 ERA over 20 starts, Chatwood has the high­est oc­cur­rence of walks per nine in­nings, at 5.0, and the low­est ra­tio of strike­outs-to-walks, at 1.43, among Colorado’s ro­ta­tion.

Against the Mets, Chatwood cruised through the first three in­nings be­fore un­rav­el­ing. The four balls hit in the air off Chatwood turned south, for two home runs, a triple and a dou­ble.

“He got a ton of ground­balls. Even though the first-pitch strike ra­tio wasn’t great,” Black said. “But the ball was down with ac­tion, the fast­ball and the cut­ter, and they put the ball on the ground. He was around the zone for most of the game. It wasn’t scat­tered.”

Des­mond still on the mend.

Out­fielder Ian Des­mond (strained right calf ) will not re­turn to the Rock­ies on Satur­day, when he first be­comes el­i­gi­ble off the 10-day dis­abled list. His in­jury is “tricky,” Black said, and Des­mond might need a mi­nor­league re­hab.

McGee im­prov­ing.

Lefty re­liever Jake McGee (mid-back strain), though, pitched off flat ground Thurs­day and may re­turn Satur­day as the Rock­ies’ pri­mary setup man in front of Hol­land.

Foot­notes.

If the Rock­ies move two cur­rent starters to the bullpen, they most likely will not be used as late-in­ning re­liev­ers, Black said. “We feel pretty good about Hol­land, McGee, (Pat) Neshek and (Mike) Dunn in the late in­nings,” he said. … De­spite his time of rest in the bullpen over the past month, Sen­za­tela is not headed to a per­ma­nent spot there. “We’re go­ing to give him ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to be a starter,” Black said. … Mark Reynolds’ lead­off homer in the sixth in­ning was his 23rd this sea­son, his most since hit­ting 23 in 2012 with Bal­ti­more. … Char­lie Black­mon’s homer in the fifth gave him a team-high 25. … Nolan Are­nado’s walk in the ninth was the sixth walk-off RBI of his ca­reer, tied for fourth-most in club his­tory. Dante Bichette and Todd Hel­ton had nine. His 16 game-win­ning RBIs this sea­son are the most in the ma­jors.

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