Jhoulys Chacin: Could he make Atlanta Braves’ rotation?


Jhoulys Chacin signed a Minor League deal with the Atlanta Braves Monday. Could Chacin end up making the starting rotation for the young club in 2016?

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Atlanta Braves have agreed to a Minor League contract with free agent right-handed pitcher Jhoulys Chacin.

Chacin, who will play in 2016 as a 28 year old, spent the last seven seasons in the National League West, most notably with the Colorado Rockies. He managed to pitch in two high altitude cities in Denver and Phoenix with a sub 4.00 ERA in his seven years as a big leaguer (3.76 ERA).

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While Jhoulys Chacin was an top of the rotation pitcher for the Rockies from 2010 to 2013, he only appeared in 16 games the last two seasons between Colorado and Arizona. At 28, it is up in the air if Chacin can still maintain a consistent spot in a big league rotation.

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However, the Atlanta Braves may look to use Chacin in a mix and match type of role with the club, being at times both a back-end of the rotation pitcher as well as a long-arm guy that can guy several innings out of the bullpen if need be. Since Atlanta struggled in both areas mightily in the second half of 2015, Jhoulys Chacin could end up helping the Atlanta Braves in either regard in 2016.

I see Chacin one of three things happening with Jhoulys Chacin with the Atlanta Braves in spring training:

1. He could go the Eric Stults route as a back-end of the rotation starter at the beginning of the year until one of Atlanta’s young arms in either AA Mississippi or AAA Gwinnett are ready for the show before DFA’ing him or trading him to another team in need of starting pitching.

2. Chacin could go the Wandy Rodriguez route and contend for either the fourth or fifth rotation spot behind Julio Teheran, Matt Wisler, and somebody else, before being cut by the club before Opening Day.

3. Jhoulys Chacin could go the Edwin Jackson/Ross Detwiler route as a former Big League starter turned long-arm out of the Atlanta Braves bullpen.

Since Chacin has over the years shown that he can have a lower ERA pitching in hitter-friendly ballparks, I think he will stick with the club in some capacity. My guess is that the young arms of the Atlanta Braves could benefit from having a 28-year-old in their rotation before being moved back into the bullpen once another talented young arm is ready to claim his spot in the Atlanta rotation, whomever that ends up being.

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Atlanta desperately needed some big league experience in both their rotation and their pitching staff in general. Signing Jhoulys Chacin to a Minor League deal seems like a reasonable answer heading into Spring Training. Go Braves!