Rockies, Jhoulys Chacin agree to $6.5 million deal

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A long-term deal didn’t make a lot of sense after Jhoulys Chacin’s poor 2012 season, but the right-hander and Rockies did find common ground on a two-year, $6.5 million pact on Saturday.

The deal takes care of Chacin’s first two years of arbitration. He’ll again be eligible for arbitration in 2015 before he qualifies for free agency following that season.

The 25-year-old Chacin asked for $2.6 million and was offered $1.7 million in arbitration  Assuming that the two sides would have settled at the $2.15 million midpoint, this essentially gets him under control for 2014 at $4.35 million.

Chacin looked like one of the NL’s most promising young pitchers two years ago, posting ERAs of 3.28 and 3.62 and WHIPs of 1.27 and 1.31 in his first two seasons with the Rockies. Adjusting for Coors Field, those were particularly strong marks.

Chacin, though, struggled right from the get-go in 2012, showing neither his usual velocity nor a quality slider before being diagnosed with shoulder inflammation and, later, a nerve issue in his chest. He did rebound at the very end of the season, though, going 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA in his last nine starts.

Lifetime, Chacin has a 3.05 ERA in 29 starts and eight relief appearances away from Coors Field. He’s 23-31 with a 3.68 ERA overall.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.