I have returned from Arizona, where I attended two spring training games and got to feel like a 7-year-old again when I got Ryne Sandberg’s autograph. It was a wonderful trip.
One thing that was not so wonderful, however, was Tyler Chatwood’s three-inning performance on March 6. The stat line was impressive: No runs, three hits, a strikeout, and no walks. But the eye test told an entirely different story. For example, Chatwood needed three fresh balls to make it through his 8th-inning warmups. I repeat…warmups.
I have never seen a major leaguer spike that many balls mid-inning. Chatwood was also behind virtually every hitter over the last two innings of his appearance. He only escaped without damage because he was facing prospects that were a little overzealous as they tried to make names for themselves. Against more seasoned hitters, Chatwood would have been carved up.
I wish I could deliver better news, but I would not put too much stock in Chatwood’s improved stat lines just yet.