Chicago Cubs: Tyler Chatwood giving the team enough as fifth starter

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(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Yes, Tyler Chatwood has had mixed results with the Chicago Cubs. However, one has to be happy if he pitches in future starts like he did on Tuesday.

It is no secret that Tyler Chatwood is in the midst of a roller coaster season with the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs signed Chatwood, 28, to a three-year, $38 million contract this offseason. His ERA stands at 3.95 following Tuesday’s start against the Los Angeles Dodgers, respectable for a fifth starter.

Take a walk

For Chatwood, though, ERA does not tell the whole story. Chatwood’s walk total increased to 63 following the five innings he pitched Tuesday. For the sake of comparison, Lucas Giolito of the White Sox is second in the bigs in walks with 45.

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Chatwood has walked at least five batters in a whopping nine starts this season. His WHIP stands at 1.73 following Tuesday’s start, almost a point higher than MLB leader Justin Verlander (0.76).

And yet, Chatwood has found a way to limit the damage despite so many walks. He allowed just one run (a Joc Pederson leadoff home run) Tuesday, allowing just two hits with five walks and six strikeouts.

Yes, Chatwood has been extremely frustrating at times. He has been incredibly fortunate to allow three earned runs or less in 10 of his 13 starts despite the walks.

Don’t be shortsighted

What must be acknowledged is that Chatwood is the team’s fifth starter. If the Cubs make the playoffs, he is not going to start, barring injury or unforeseen circumstances.

Did the Cubs expect Chatwood’s walk total to get this out of hand? Probably not. But did they expect him to be their ace who pitches into the seventh inning frequently? Once again, probably not.

Tuesday’s start did not go perfectly for Chatwood, but it could have gone much worse. He has pitched good enough considering the walk total and his stance as the team’s fifth starter.

One should not excuse Chatwood for walking the tightrope every game, but one also must not lose focus. Chatwood has been good enough for the Cubs.

Next: Edwards Jr. will help give overworked arms a break

If he can pitch at least as good as he did Tuesday in the future, the Cubs will be in a good position whenever he takes the mound.

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