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Wednesday Rockpile: Tyler Chatwood, Michael Cuddyer, and Jhoulys Chacin injury updates

Injury updates for Tyler Chatwood, Michael Cuddyer, and Jhoulys Chacin along with news and notes on the Rockies for Wednesday, 4/30.

Christian Petersen

Injury updates in the aftermath of a dramatic win last night:

Chatwood leaves start with right elbow tightness | News

The Rockies will wait until Wednesday to further evaluate the condition of right-hander Tyler Chatwood, who left Tuesday night's game at Chase Field against the D-backs with the bases loaded and none out in the sixth inning because of tightness in his right elbow. As Barry Bloom notes in the column, this is more than a little worrisome for Chatwood, who lost the month of August last season to a similar elbow injury and had surgery in October to remove a bone chip from that elbow.

We'll certainly be following this news closely at Purple Row - if it means a trip to the DL, we might see Franklin Morales in the rotation a little while longer even after Jhoulys Chacin returns. Chacin made his final rehab start last night, going six innings for AAA Colorado Springs - so if Chatwood does need to go on the DL, Chacin will be able to start on Sunday in Chatwood's spot on normal rest.

No timetable for Cuddyer, but Weiss optimistic | News

Officially, Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer, out with a strained left hamstring since April 18, is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Saturday. Unofficially, there's some doubt about him being ready to do so. From the article:

"I'm getting there. It's getting better. But there's no timetable," Cuddyer said.

Walt Weiss seems to think that Cuddyer will be back in action on time, but honestly I'm kind of digging this outfield defense the Rockies have with him out of the lineup. Not that I don't want him back in the lineup, just that I don't want him to come back prematurely.

Outfield links

Colorado’s Canny Outfield Platoon | FanGraphs Baseball

Brad Johnson of FanGraphs praises Colorado's handling of its outfield this year and breaks down the performance of each of the four CF derby participants thus far. Johnson includes rest of season projections for each of the four, with Corey Dickerson and Charlie Blackmon looking the rosiest.

The Most Improved Hitters Thus Far by Projected WAR | FanGraphs Baseball

Carson Cistulli, FanGraphs author and noted Charlie Blackmon fanboy, looks at the players whose projections have changed the most from the beginning of the season. Lo and behold, Chuck Nazty leads the pack with an updated .304/.355/.478, 122 wRC+, 3.5 fWAR full season projection.

Rockies video: Weiss on why Blackmon is in right, Dickerson in center

Ever wondered why Walt Weiss starts Blackmon in right field instead of center when Dickerson gets a starting call? Get the answer from the source at this Denver Post video.

Rockies' Brandon Barnes gets off to fast start with new team - The Denver Post

Meanwhile, Brandon Barnes has exceeded my wildest expectations thus far with his performance. He was sold to me as being the worst offensive position player in the league when Colorado acquired him but, thus far, that has blessedly not been the case.

Other Rockies links

Rockies' infield turning double plays at league-leading rate - The Denver Post

Colorado's infield defense has been elite this year despite shifting at one of the lowest rates in the big leagues. Patrick Saunders has an apt description of the crew:

The athletic prowess is apparent: Nolan Arenado bare-hands a ball down the third-base line; Troy Tulowitzki makes his patented leaping throw from the hole in short; DJ LeMahieu slides for a ball near second, then makes the throw from his knees; and Justin Morneau scoops up balls in the dirt near first.

As the article headline notes, the Rockies lead the league in double plays turned. A lot of that is excellent ground ball defense, and a lot of it is the volume of ground balls generated by the pitching staff, whose 49.5% GB percentage is 2nd in the league. The article also has quick blurbs on Chacin, Cuddyer, and Wilin Rosario - all of whom are on the mend.

Jonah Keri Podcast: Adnan Virk and Benjamin Hochman "

Jonah Keri of Grantland had Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post on to discuss the Rockies in his semi-regular podcast. Both had very nice things to say about the Rockies, Coors Field, and 1UP. There's a handy button at the link to take you straight to the Rockies talk.

Baseball Prospectus | The Lineup Card: 10 Things We Learned in April

The Baseball Prospectus staff writes about 10 lessons learned in April - and one of them focuses on the fact that thus far the Rockies have been the most entertaining team to watch in baseball.

Links from around baseball

10 Lessons I Have Learned about Creating a Projection System – The Hardball Times

Friend of Purple Row Dan Szymborski writes about his projection system, ZiPS, and the lessons he's learned along the way.

Vintage baseball photos and the lessons we can learn from them -

Grant Brisbee is at it again, using 19th century baseball photographs to teach modern ballplayers the way they should handle photo day. Also, the Pete Rose scale of mustaches is prominently featured.

Fan spills beer on date while chasing foul ball -

At Monday night's Rockies game, a fan made several mistakes in his unsuccessful pursuit of a foul ball. View them (along with a breakdown) here.