Signed by the Cubs in December, the intention of Tyler Chatwood was to add a fifth starter replacement to the Cubs rotation. Fast forward to June, Chatwood sure hasn’t been a John Lackey type fifth starter, but it’s not time to give up on him yet. Not to mention he has two more years left on his contract after this year with over $20 million tied up. This isn’t the end of Chatwood early on in mid-June.
Chatwood is 3-5 this year with a 4.12 ERA and 1.75 WHIP in 13 starts. Those aren’t the numbers of a #1 or #2 starter, but they are solid for a fifth and even sixth option. Chatwood’s production thus far isn’t too much different than his in Colorado. He has lowered his ERA with a slightly higher WHIP with the Cubs this year. Not bad for Chatwood with his first team change in five years. There’s still some hope here.
To put Chatwood as a fifth starter in perspective, John Lackey was 12-12 with a 4.59 ERA and 1.28 WHIP last season. Lackey’s walks were minimal compared to Chatwood’s, but he isn’t that much better than Chatwood. It’s an adjustment from one market to another, especially with a completely different climate. It takes time to adjust, and Tyler Chatwood will find his groove at some point.
Chatwood’s recent starts haven’t been pretty in the bases on balls column, but Chatwood isn’t allowing too many hits nor earned runs. He hasn’t shown signs yet of improving in that area, but it’s not going to stick with him for a long time. Once again, it takes time to adjust to a new team, climate, pitching coach, and manager as Tyler Chatwood is just in a funk.
To improve, Chatwood just needs to find that game with a few earned runs and one or two walks and it can be the confidence boost he needs. Just give him time, as it’s not time to give up on Tyler Chatwood yet.