Welcome to the 2022 edition of Ranking the Rockies, where we take a look back at every player to log playing time for the Rockies in 2022. The purpose of this list is to provide a snapshot of the player in context. The “Ranking” is an organizing principle that’s drawn from Baseball Reference’s WAR (rWAR). It’s not something the staff debated. We’ll begin with the player with the lowest rWAR and end up with the player with the highest.
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No. 43, Jhoulys Chacín: -1.4 rWAR
Have you ever read a book or watched a movie that started out strong, remained engaging, and seemed like a great story until the end when it just doesn’t finish the way you want it to?
That’s the story of Jhoulys Chacín. He had a great start with the franchise 13 years ago, returned to the team with a decent performance in 2021, but then made Rockies fans cringe every time he entered a game in 2022. This year was a brutal season for the 34-year-old righty where he recorded a 7.61 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, and a .282 batting average against, putting him at the bottom of the team’s rWAR rankings at -1.4.
Last season, Chacín ranked No. 18 in our Ranking the Rockies series with a 0.6 rWar. This season was a different story, despite the fact that he was the second-most used pitcher out of the bullpen (excluding Austin Gomber who split the season as a starter) as he pitched in 47 1⁄3 innings over 35 games.
His struggles led to the Rockies releasing him on Sept. 15, but Chacín still remains a frequent name among the Rockies Top-10 franchise pitching lists:
ERA: Second at 4.05, behind only Ubaldo Jimenez
Hits per 9 IP: Second at 8.349
WHIP: Fourth at 1.348
WAR for pitchers: Sixth at 14
Strikeouts per 9 IP: Seventh at 6.868
Career strikeouts: Ninth at 598
Wins: 10th with 45
At age 21, Chacín made his debut for the Rockies on July 25, 2009. By 2010, he joined a rotation that included the likes of Ubaldo Jiménez, Jorge De La Rosa, Jeff Francis, Aaron Cook, and Jason Hammel. He remained with the Rockies for the next four years, racking up stats that put him in the conversation of best pitchers in Rockies history. Chacín spent the next six years playing for eight different teams, only to find himself back on the Rockies as a reliever in 2021.
In his eight years with the Rockies, he pitched in 205 games, totaled 783 2⁄3 innings, went 45-52, and pitched two complete games, including one shutout.
The 2022 season started off nicely for Chacín with 4 1⁄3 scoreless and hitless innings over two games before he surrendered three earned runs (four total) in his next outing. In his 35 appearances, he gave up runs in 19 of them, including eight where he gave up three or more runs. It was the worst in July when he had an 11.25 ERA in eight innings, giving up 12 hits, six walks, and had a 2.25 WHIP.
On July 26, Chacín was placed on the 15-day IL with toe sesamoiditis, which possibly factored into his diminished production. He didn’t return to the roster until Aug. 19 and only pitched three more times. In his first game back, he was punished by the Rangers, giving up four runs on five hits (including a homer) with one walk and two strikeouts. He pitched in two more games in September, throwing 2 1⁄3 scoreless innings before being released.
This year wasn’t the first time the Rockies have released Chacín as was let go in March of 2015 and then again by Cleveland later in 2015. He spent the next six years pitching for the Diamondbacks, Braves, Angels, Padres, Brewers, Red Sox, Twins, and Yankees and was released by various teams three times before signing back with the Rockies in April of 2021.
With that track record, Chacín’s career might not be over. With the Rockies track record of resigning veterans in spring training or when injuries strike, his time with the Rockies might not even be over. Whatever happens moving forward, Chacín will stand out as an important pitcher in Rockies history, even if we all want to forget his 2022 season.