Chatwood looks to put injuries behind him

Chatwood looks to put injuries behind him

MESA, Ariz. -- Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood wanted a boost of adrenaline in his first Cactus League start Wednesday, and some of it wasn't of his own doing.

The Rockies committed three errors behind Chatwood, but he limited the Cubs to one unearned run in 2 2/3 innings and was removed after throwing 59 pitches. The 24-year-old struck out three and walked two, allowing just one hit.

"You don't want traffic this early in spring, but kind of being in those situations working out of the stretch and working on stuff, it's good," Chatwood said. "But the ultimate goal is to never have that much traffic out there."

Chatwood threw late last week in an intrasquad game, but Wednesday was his first time facing an opponent since a rewarding but painful 2013 season. Chatwood went 8-5 with a 3.15 ERA in 20 Major League starts after beginning the year at Triple-A Colorado Springs.

However, from August through season's end, he dealt with pain and fluid in his right elbow, as well as a left hamstring strain. The hamstring healed with rest, but the elbow required surgery in October to remove a large bone chip.

"I felt 100 percent, and I haven't had any setback since I had the procedure done," Chatwood said. "I don't anticipate anything.

"Last year, it was frustrating, because I felt like I was throwing the ball really well and it would fill up [with fluid] and I couldn't get to the point I wanted to, so it's a procedure I had to get done, and I'm glad I did it."

Manager Walt Weiss said Chatwood has looked healthy.
    
"It's been smooth sailing for Chatty ever since he got here," Weiss said. "Since he's been throwing bullpen [sessions], he hasn't had any problems. It's a good sign."

Chatwood's next step is to increase his workload. He threw 142 innings for the Angels in 2011, when injuries forced him into the rotation, plus 16 Minor League innings. In 2012 with the Rockies, working as a reliever and a starter, he threw 64 2/3 Major League innings and 126 total that year. Last season, he also tossed 34 innings at Triple-A Colorado Springs.

"I felt like last year I was on a good pace before I got hurt, so I if I can start eating up innings and keeping the team in games, that's my main goal," Chatwood said.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.