DECISION SOON ON CHATWOOD’S PLACE IN ROTATION
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.
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.
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.