A month into his Chicago Cubs career, Tyler Chatwood is rewarding the front office for their faith in him and giving the team a valuable pitching weapon.
Early in the offseason, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer made the first major starting pitcher signing, inking Tyler Chatwood to a three-year, $39 million. More than a few folks scratched their heads at the move, given what his numbers looked like at first glance.
I mean, we’re talking about a guy who lost 15 games for the Rockies last year, pitching to a 4.69 earned run average in 25 starts and eight relief appearances. Those are hardly inspiring numbers when you’re talking about giving a guy a three-year deal and nearly $40 million. But, here we are after a four-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers and this deal looks better by the day.
On Sunday, Chatwood turned in his best start as a Chicago Cub. He limited the Brewers to two hits over seven shutout innings. After a shaky first inning, the right-hander settled into a rhythm, cruising through the rest of the afternoon.
After walking at least five batters in three of his first four starts, Chatwood allowed just three free passes against Milwaukee. He was more efficient than we’ve seen him yet this year – and got a glimpse of what we’s capable of.
"“That’s kind of who I am, throwing a lot of two-seams, getting early contact and getting ground balls,” Chatwood said. “With that defense we have behind us, [I was] utilizing that. I just feel I haven’t been doing that as well as I know I could. Today that was the big focus, throwing two seams and trying to get quick outs.”"
Now, comparing Chatwood to some of the game’s greats is not only premature, but irresponsible. But it’s worth noting that one month into 2018, his ERA is neck-and-neck with Clayton Kershaw. So here’s a little tip of the cap to our number five starter.
The season is young. A lot can (and will) change between now and the dog days of summer. But with each passing start, Tyler Chatwood seems to be growing more and more comfortable – and with that comfort has come a pair of victories.