Rockies shut down Jhoulys Chacin with shoulder injury

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Jhoulys Chacin underwent an MRI exam after complaining of shoulder soreness early in camp and the Rockies right-hander has been diagnosed with inflammation.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Chacin will be shut down for at least one week and “likely longer.”

As one of the few starting pitchers to consistently thrive in Coors Field (relatively speaking) Chacin is hugely important to the Rockies’ plans this season. Through age 25 he has a 3.61 ERA in 609 innings, including a 3.57 ERA as a starter and a 4.18 ERA in Colorado (compared to a 2.57 ERA on the road).

Rays sign lefty Ryan Merritt to a minor league deal

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The Tampa Bay Rays have signed lefty swingman Ryan Merritt to a minor league contract. Nah, it’s not a big signing but we’ll take anything today.

Merritt, who has spent his entire career in the Indians organization, spent the entire 2018 season at Triple-A Columbus. It wasn’t a bad year for him — he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 52/2 K/BB ratio in 13 starts and two relief appearances covering 71.1 innings — but the Tribe just couldn’t find a role for him at the big league level. He has shown in the past, however, that he can hack it in the bigs, having posted a 1.71 ERA in 31.2 innings with the Indians between 2016-2017.

His thing is that he simply doesn’t strike guys out at anything approaching a typical clip for a big leaguer: 3.7 per nine innings in his small sample of major league outings and 6.3 Ks per nine innings in the minors. Which, while it may not prevent him from having success at the big league level, is likely a reason for the limited number of chances he’s been given.

The Rays are probably the best place he could go, frankly. They’ve shown themselves willing to utilize guys in unique ways and are more likely than most teams to find places to spot a lefty control specialist who has shown he can both start and come out of the pen.