Eaton Up; Chacin Down

August 12, 2009 | 3:56 pm | 14  

The Rockies purchased the contract of RHP Adam Eaton from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Wednesday and optioned RHP Jhoulys Chacin there, one day after Chacin’s ill-fated first major league start.

Chacin would not have been available to pitch in relief for a few days after throwing 71 pitches in 2 2/3 innings against the Pirates on Tuesday.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Eaton, LHP Alan Embree, who suffered a broken right leg when hit with a line drive July 10, was transferred from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list.

Eaton, 31, went 3-3 with a 2.67 ERA since joining Colorado Springs on July 9. He had been scheduled to start Wednesday night for the Sky Sox. The Rockies signed Eaton three days after he was released by the Orioles. In eight starts for Baltimore, Eaton went 2-5 with a 3.35 ERA.

After allowing one run in five innings in four relief appearances, Chacin made his first major league start Tuesday and allowed four runs on one hit and six walks in 2 2/3 innings against the Pirates. He was the losing pitcher as the Rockies fell 7-3.

Chacin threw just 36 of 71 pitches for strikes against the Pirates and threw first-pitch strikes to six of the 14 batters he faced. By going down to the Sky Sox, Chacin, who was promoted from Double-A Tulsa to the Rockies without ever pitching for the Sky Sox, can enhance his development by getting regular work as a starter. If he merits it, Chacin can be brought back when the rosters are expanded next month.

Chacin started against the Pirates in place of Aaron Cook, whose scheduled start was pushed back four days until Saturday because of a sprained right big toe.

14 Comments »

  • Jason | August 12, 2009 | 4:05 pm

    This is a great move. I hope O’Dowd and Tracy had a lenghty talk with Chacin about why this moved needed to be made due to the short term bullpen depletion. I believe this move had little to do with last night’s performance and it would have been made even if he had a solid performance. I felt Chacin had some good outings as a reliever (making your major league starting debut in that situation is tuff). Having Eaton on board will allow Fogg to recover from a decent outing last night. The next 5 games are huge and we need all the bullpen arms ready to go.

  • reader f/k/a Mike | August 12, 2009 | 4:09 pm

    Wow. I hope Eaton’s stint is temporary (due to concern about Cook’s foot). Eaton pitched well at the Springs, but has a long track record of MLB mediocrity. I’d have preferred Chacin or Herges in the pen.

  • Townie | August 12, 2009 | 4:12 pm

    I think the first Chacin experiment has to be considered a little bit of a failure. He did pitch well in relief, but he’s leaving the bigs with a bad taste in his mouth. Hopefully he’ll able to shake it like Morales was able to.

  • Cisco Kid | August 12, 2009 | 4:28 pm

    Why is Chacin going down looked at as a failure on his part? He pitched well in relief, and just had a bad outing last night. Pittsburgh knew the situation the Rox were in going into the game. As Tracy stated after the game, Pitt batters were taking some pitches early that they would ordinarily be swinging at. Their plan was to drive the pitch count up and were successful in doing so. Their plan worked and hats off to them. As stated here earlier, even if Chacin had pitched 5/6 scoreless innings, there’s a good chance this move would have been done anyway. With the plan of pitching Chacin & Fogg last night, there was no one available to pitch long relief the next couple of games. which necessitated this move with Eaton. Let’s not be so quick in judging Chacin a failure. Tracy said he would speak with him today, so I’m sure his confidence is intact. I’m sure we’ll see him up here in a couple of weeks.

  • Townie | August 12, 2009 | 4:32 pm

    I didn’t call Chacin a failure. I called the experiment a failure.

  • robba | August 12, 2009 | 4:55 pm

    Hey Jack, two sources on the ‘Net show Eaton’s ERA at 8.56, not 3.35.

    Let’s hope he has more success here.

  • Jason | August 12, 2009 | 5:00 pm

    With Hammel’s inconsistencies, injuries to Cook and Marquis, and with Ubaldo prone to high pitch counts, we can not afford to be down two bullpen arms for the next 4-5 days. I was dissappointed by our defensive performance last night. However, I tip my cap to Fogg for biting the bullet and saving our bullpen. Although it isn’t reflected in his stats, Fogg is a major contributor. This is the second time in the past 3 weeks he has come up big for us in a devastating loss and preserve our bullpen to fight another day(NY Mets).

  • Curt in Florida | August 12, 2009 | 6:13 pm

    Chacin’s demotion won’t likely hurt him in the long run. He’s got some electric stuff and his (relief) successes and (starting) failure give some valuable experience to a guy who started in the lower minors and made it to The Show. However, it does reveal the risks teams take when they bring a young guy up a bit too soon. Watch him mow down people in the Springs and then come back and contribute in Sept.

  • Brian H | August 12, 2009 | 6:13 pm

    Robba -

    That’s a scary stat. That 8+ ERA is from the majors. The 3something ERA is from the minor.

    I doubt he sees much work unless he’s aboslutely needed.

  • Christopher Morton | August 12, 2009 | 7:40 pm

    I have seen Eaton down here (I even posted two days ago that they should revisit the possibility of Eaton, so I fell vindicated). Yes Eaton is an average major leaguer, but he knows the grind, he has looked better than he has in years, and having been dropped by the Os appears to have thrown him into a new state. He will do fine, and I think he gives them a better shot if they need another start. I think Chacin finally looked like a AA to majors guy yesterday. He was obviously a bit nervous, he could not get any of his 3rd or 4th pitches to do anything. Let him fine turn his 3rd and 4th pitches and he can make a good strater next year. Was it a failure? Yes, the Chacin ready to start was. Chacin as a big leauge contributor, that has been a success.

    Losing last night hurt, but that is what happens when injuries hit your starting rotation. Lets hope Cookie is ready on Saturday.

  • George | August 12, 2009 | 9:11 pm

    In hindsight, Tracy and O’Dowd should have made the decision to have Franklin Morales start the game. The Chacin experiment turned out to be a disaster, at least at this point. Hopefully Chacin will rebound and make a contribution when he returns at some point in September.

    A Morales start very well could have resulted in a much different and much better result in Tuesday’s game, but an unknown variable that probably ruled this out would have been the impact on the bullpen with one less arm available for the next few days possibly had Morales gone 5 innings or more in the start.

    Another concern why the decision was made concerns the status of Aaron Cook. The Rockies and Cook are talking confidently, but there has to be at least a slight level of doubt that Cook may miss yet another start and have to be held back yet again as he was on Tuesday. Lets hope not, but it may not be such bad turn of events if it does happen as Cook has not been as sharp and effective since the All Star Game and a little time off may be just the recipe for him to regain his stamina and form for the final six weeks of the season when he will be counted on a lot both on and off the field as the Rockies are in their first pennant race in a number of seasons.

  • Drew S. | August 12, 2009 | 9:22 pm

    In the long run of Chacin’s career (knock on wood) I think this will help in his development. I would have preferred for Hynick to get the call though

  • Townie | August 12, 2009 | 9:44 pm

    Chacin hadn’t started a game above AA and he also hadn’t started a game in roughly three weeks. I think he would have been a better bet for success had he come straight from the minors for a spot start in a situation where he wasn’t as limited by pitch count and was in a better ryhthm. As Drew mentioned, someone like Hynick that has been starting consistently might have made more sense there.

    I’m certainly not labeling Chacin a failure, just the idea of throwing him out there under those circumstances. And maybe failure is too harsh a word. Hopefully it won’t set him back mentally. I hear a lot of compliments about his poise so maybe it will be more helpful that hurtful in the short and long term.

  • WillM | August 13, 2009 | 7:44 am

    A lot of focus on Chacin’s contribution to the loss on Tuesday, and the decisionmaking surrounding his start, but it was a team loss. But Tracy and the front office seem to be making more good than bad decisions. I guess we’ll know about Eaton soon enough.