Finding their team in second place in the NL West as April draws to a close may come as a surprise for some fans of the Colorado Rockies. The team has very quietly put together a solid start to the year, with few noticing the production the team has received outside of those contributions from Charlie Blackmon and Troy Tulowitzki (who currently sit at #1 and #2 on the National League batting leaders, respectively, entering play Wednesday). The offense has largely carried this club thus far, particularly after they lost two of their starters to injuries early on in the season.
Tyler Chatwood may be in danger of being the third starter to go down, as the right-hander was forced to leave Tuesday night’s game early due to tightness in his right elbow. The team didn’t immediately jump to concern, but it remains to be seen just how severe the injury may be as Walt Weiss explained to reporters, including The Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders, following the game:
Chatty had tightness in his right elbow and we wanted to get him out of there at that point. We will reevaluate him tomorrow.
Weiss noted that there were no immediate plans to have Chatwood undergo an MRI, but that decision will likely come today depending on how the elbow responds to rest overnight. The Rockies will presumably be cautious in how they treat a potential injury, particularly given Chatwood’s history of elbow problems. He missed about a month of the season a year ago with similar tightness and had bone chips removed from the elbow this past October.
Chatwood, 24, has made four starts for the Rockies on the season with mixed results. He’s posted a 4.50 ERA and 1.208 WHIP, but has struggled to keep the ball in the park (a common problem for Colorado pitchers) allowing 1.5 HR/9. Typically a ground ball pitcher, Chatwood has struggled to keep the ball down in the zone on the year and has been hit hard as a result.
Should he be forced to miss an extended period of time it’s unclear who’ll step into the Rockies’ rotation to replace him. The team has already seen six different pitchers take the hill to start a game on the year and their top minor league options, Jon Gray and Eddie Butler, have yet to pitch above Double-A.