Chatwood experiments with his changeup

Chatwood experiments with his changeup

Chatwood experiments with his changeup
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Rockies right-handed starting-rotation hopeful Tyler Chatwood tested his changeup on Sunday afternoon. One of those experiments went awry and ended up a wind-blown home run by the Mariners' Kyle Seager.

But the best part about it is Chatwood doesn't have to explain away giving up three runs, seven hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings. The Mariners led, 3-2, when the game was called because of rain in the top of the fifth inning. And because the game was not official, the stats were washed away, as well.

So Chatwood can call the experiment a success and not have to discuss the not-so-sterling numbers. Chatwood had a lively fastball and breaking ball, as he expected. Sunday was about developing his changeup, so he will know it's there when he needs it.

"During the season, if I throw five or six in a game, that's a lot," Chatwood said. "That was one of the things ... 'Dac' [pitching coach Bob Apodaca] and I talked about coming out of my last start. He wanted to see more changeups. And in that last inning, I figured I'd try to work it in."

The changeup to Seager was thigh-high, but in Chatwood's defense, the wind carried the hit over the right-field wall. Manager Jim Tracy had no quarrel with Chatwood, who was acquired from the Angels for catcher Chris Iannetta.

Counting Sunday, Chatwood has nine strikeouts to four walks. His willingness to attack the strike zone has put him in good position in the chase for a rotation spot. Chatwood's aggressiveness could also help him become an effective reliever.

Tracy had no issues with Sunday's performance.

"There were some sequences that were very intriguing," Tracy said. "His changeup and the fastball that followed were just explosive stuff."

Chatwood's start Sunday was on short rest, which could explain why he was smooth for the first two innings but struggled in the third and fourth. He threw 61 pitches, but with full rest before his next scheduled outing -- Friday against the Giants -- could throw 80-plus pitches.