Tyler Chatwood, who has been out with injury thus far, is going to make his season debut in San Francisco against the Giants on Sunday, according to the Denver Post's Troy Renck.
He also suggests the corresponding moves will land Franklin Morales in the bullpen (a spot many thought we would begin the year in anyway and is best suited for) and will leave Jordan Lyles in the starting rotation.
Chatwood will start Sunday. All signs point toward Lyles staying in rotation w Morales going to pen. In this scenario Bettis could go to AAA— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) April 11, 2014
This is good news for Rockies fans. Chatwood was solid in his rehab start in Colorado Springs, going 6.1 innings, allowing a run and striking out eight. Chatwood was excellent last season, pitching 111.1 innings for the Rockies and posting a 3.15 ERA. He was so effective, he was often grouped with Jhoulys Chacin and Jorge de la Rosa -- who are historically among the best Rockies pitchers ever -- leading me to dub the trio "Jhoulys de la Chatwood."
Walt Weiss also confirmed Tyler Chatwood will get his 1st start on the mound Sun. vs. SFGiants and a roster move is coming shortly. CJ & Les— Les Shapiro (@LesShapiro) April 11, 2014
Also don't forget the return of Chatwood's formidable bat. He hit .300/.333.325 last season in 45 plate appearances.
Reuniting that triumvirate is a key moving forward for the Rockies and hopefully the next domino to fall (Chacin returning) will be sooner rather than later.
This is also a great move for the bullpen which has been anything but stable so far. Whatever your opinions of Franklin Morales, he has shown an ability to be effective on the mound this season and showed a kind of mental reserve that Jorge de la Rosa could learn from when he didn't let early problems bother him against the White Sox -- powering through 6.1 innings.
At the very least, he should be able to save some innings in blowouts one way or the other in a mop-up role. He can also be employed one batter at a time in a LOOGY role.
Jordan Lyles has earned a spot in the rotation with two solid starts against the Miami Marlins and Chicago White Sox, earning wins in both, and posting a 3.86 ERA in an admittedly small sample size. Lyles' youth and prospect pedigree is worthy of excitement and further exploration.
Many have said (myself included) that the Dexter Fowler trade will only ever be worth it if Jordan Lyles turns into a Tyler Chatwood 2.0. Well, it looks like he is at least going to get his shot to do so along side the return of Lord Chatwood himself.
Chad Bettis is likely the odd man out in this scenario as Renck points out. He hasn't yet found the effectiveness it looked like he had at the end of last season and during the spring. Hopefully all he needs is a tune-up and if his issues are mental, a trip the the Springs might be just what the doctor ordered.
This early season flexibility and in general making of the right moves, is an encouraging sign from the Rockies front office.