DENVER -- Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood left a stunning last impression the last time he was in the Majors -- six scoreless innings in a 12-2 victory over the Dodgers on April 29. Now the Rockies are counting on him to do the same Saturday.
Chatwood, who was sent to Triple-A Colorado Springs after his impressive outing, rejoined the Rockies on Friday and will be activated to start Saturday against the Giants in the third game of a four-game set at Coors Field. Righty Juan Nicasio was originally scheduled to pitch Saturday, but his start has been moved to Sunday.
The Rockies sent Chatwood down after his start against the Dodgers because Jhoulys Chacin made his return from the disabled list with a back strain. Chatwood didn't sulk by any means. He threw a four-hit shutout of Iowa in his first start -- the first nine-inning, complete-game shutout by a Colorado Springs pitcher at home since 2003. Chatwood didn't fare as well in his next start -- 11 hits and seven runs -- but there were reports that he threw a high percentage of strikes and pitched far better than the numbers.
"Anytime you go down, you want to prove yourself and keep proving yourself," said Chatwood, 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts during his first callup. "I was just trying to go out there and make pitches.
"It's just commanding the zone with every pitch. Throwing everything for strikes is the biggest thing."
For Chatwood, 23, filling the roster spot of injured lefty Jeff Francis (left groin strain), this is a new chance to stick after bouncing between the Majors and Minors with the Angels (2011) and Rockies (2012-13). Also, he was considered either a starter or reliever as recently as Spring Training. Once and for all, Chatwood can forge a future in his preferred role.
"I've been a starter my whole career, I'm used to that and that's what I'm comfortable doing," Chatwood said. "That's what I feel like I need to do."
Rockies manager Walt Weiss said he was happy with Chatwood's work in Colorado Springs.
"His command has been much better, and he was throwing the ball well down there," Weiss said. "His last outing, his numbers weren't great but our reports were he threw the ball better than the numbers dictated. I like the way he competes."
Most likely, the club will return right-handed reliever Rob Scahill, who was called up to replace Francis and threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings in Thursday night's 8-6 loss to the Giants, to Colorado Springs when Chatwood is activated. Scahill has thrown 5 1/3 scoreless innings and given up two hits and struck out two during to call-ups this season.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.