Chicago Cubs: Tyler Chatwood’s chances are dwindling as a starter

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Tyler Chatwood is heading down the wrong path and it’s only a matter of time until he’s removed from the Chicago Cubs starting rotation.

The last time Tyler Chatwood pitched into the seventh inning was April 29. Due to his inability to throw strikes consistently, the Chicago Cubs right-hander’s  pitch count rises quickly. At this point, it’s unbelievable that he posts a 3.86 season ERA.

For the most part, he throws strikes when he needs to, but he also turned in some really dreadful outings. On May 22, Chatwood didn’t get out of the third inning and walked six Indians hitters in a 10-1 loss to Cleveland. In his next start, he walked five San Francisco Giants and didn’t make it out of the third inning for the second straight start. It’s just not good enough.

He leads the National League with 56 walks while only totaling 53 strikeouts. The majority of Chatwood’s struggles center around  his inability to consistently locate his fastball. If he can get that fixed, he could be a very good piece of the rotation.

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Meanwhile, Mike Montgomery has pitched well in his three spot starts since Yu Darvish landed on the disabled list. On Friday, he turned in six innings of one-run ball in a win over Pittsburgh.

Chatwood not helping his cause

With Darvish injured, Chatwood has some time to right the ship. That being said, he failed to help himself Thursday in the series finale with the Philadelphia Phillies.

He walked seven batters, a feat he’s hit twice this season. Could he be demoted to Triple-A? Perhaps. A stint in the pen might make sense, as well.

We will see when Darvish returns to the rotation. The Cubs have time to see if Chatwood can work out his kinks. Considering it’s June 8, the team is near the top of the NL Central race and the rest of the rotation has pitched well overall, there’s more leash than there might be otherwise.

Luke Farrell has pitched well in relief, most notably against the New York Mets in extra innings on June 2, and has been a starter for most of his career, so the thought of Chatwood going to Triple-A isn’t exactly out of the question. Farrell could take Montgomery’s spot in the bullpen if the lefty joins the starting rotation.

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Chatwood wouldn’t go down for a significant amount of time. But a few appearances to possibly fix his confidence and iron out mechanics might be helpful. One thing is clear. It’s a matter of time before the team needs to him to get straight. At just 28, you hope he eventually figures it out.