The winter isn’t just for those players who are in the Best Shape of Their Lives. Sometimes guys go in the opposite direction. For example, according to the Denver Post, Colorado Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd is not pleased with Jhoulys Chacin’s conditioning:
Pitcher Jhoulys Chacin disappointed O’Dowd with his offseason workouts. O’Dowd believes Chacin needs to drop weight, because the added pounds affect the balance in his delivery and undermine his fastball command. Chacin spent much of the winter training in Venezuela rather than working out in Tucson. A person close to Chacin said Thursday the right-hander weighs 226 pounds — and expects to be close to the 218 he was last spring when he reports to spring training Feb. 19.
Chacin, while obviously effective, had some issues last year with forearm tightness and things like that. He also had his heaviest workload ever, however, so anything that is going to keep him healthy and in the rotation is a good thing. So, yeah, burn some of that weight, Jhoulys.
The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.
We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”
Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.