May 1, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin in the dugout during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. Chacin gave up four runs during the first inning. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE
Chacin, 24, has struggled to the tune of a 7.30 ERA (61 ERA+) in five starts this season. Despite maintaining a pretty good strikeout rate (8 K/9), his walk rate has ballooned to 5.5 per nine innings from just 4 in each of the previous two seasons.
Chacin may be dealing with health issues - possibly a dead arm, cites Renck - in addition to the pretty obvious confidence problems that he has been fighting through. In just under a full season, Chacin has gone from the club's de facto ace (due to Ubaldo Jimenez's failure to show up last season and Jorge De La Rosa's injury) to a demotion that has sent shockwaves throughout the baseball community. At the 2011 All-Star break, he was 8-7 with a 3.16 ERA and had 101 strikeouts in 116.2 innings, and sported a K/BB ratio over 2. Since then, his command has deteriorated and has become extremely hittable, with decreased fastball velocity to boot.
Chacin may report to extended spring training and/or end up on the disabled list. More to follow, obviously, when more information is available.
UPDATE - From our own Raffy's Twitter account:
No decision has officially been made, so we'll wait to see if we hear something from the club.
Chacin has been the object of medical evaluations, in order to find an explanation to the pitcher's situation, sources close to Chacin said. He is currently waiting for the results of such tests, which could shed some light.
The righty pitched during Spring Training with unsatisfying results. A blister in his right middle finger plus a tendinitis were some of the maladies Chacin had to deal with. He immediately went on to pitch during the regular season, starting with the Rockies home opener at Coors Field against the San Francisco Giants. It wouldn't be farfetched to think his shoulder problems have extended to a point in which Chacin had no chance than pitch with diminished velocity and command.
Chacin is waiting for the final decision from the Rockies front office so he can start on the necessary steps for a comeback.