Jhoulys Chacin posted a 3.48 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 7.8 K/9 in 333-plus innings between 2010-2011, becoming one of the only reliable members of an ever-fluctuating Colorado starting rotation. But the good times have suddenly come to a screeching halt for the 24-year-old Rockies right-hander.
Chacin allowed 11 hits and seven earned runs in 4 2/3 innings Tuesday night against the Dodgers and was demoted to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Wednesday night as the owner of a 7.30 ERA, 1.86 WHIP and 22/15 K/BB ratio through five starts.
The Rockies are expected to make a corresponding roster move before Friday’s game and will need to name a new starter by Monday. Jeremy Guthrie is still at least a week away from returning from a sprained right shoulder, so Colorado may look to prospect Alex White to fill the now-vacant rotation spot.
Chacin will presumably be brought back quickly if he begins having better results down on the farm.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles have interest in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Rays earlier this week. Cobb was most recently linked to the Cubs, who reportedly reached out to his agent during the GM Meetings and garnered mutual interest from the righty, but nothing appears to be set in stone yet.
Cobb, 30, completed his sixth season with the Rays in 2017. He went 12-10 in 29 starts and turned in a respectable 3.66 ERA, 6.4 SO/9 and career-best 2.2 BB/9 in 179 1/3 innings. Despite losing a couple of weeks to turf toe, he remained healthy for most of the year and showed no signs of the elbow issues that robbed him of the majority of his 2015-2016 campaigns.
It’s still fairly early for any deals to come to fruition, but Morosi notes that the Orioles seem to be focused on bulking up their rotation during the first few months of the offseason. It’ll take more than a healthy Alex Cobb to right that ship, however: Orioles’ starters earned a collective 5.70 ERA and 5.5 fWAR in 2017, good for worst and fourth-worst marks in the league, respectively. Behind Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy (and perhaps Gabriel Ynoa/Miguel Castro), they still need three viable starters to compete in 2018. Whether or not they can afford to spring for a single starter with Cobb’s price tag (four years, $48 million, per MLB Trade Rumors) remains to be seen.