New San Diego Padres starter Jhoulys Chacin is set to make his spring debut on Tuesday afternoon. What should fans expect him to contribute to the club in 2017?
As somewhat of a veteran himself, Chacin figures to earn the third or fourth slot in San Diego’s rotation come Opening Day. He will still have to prove his value this spring though, a quest which begins Tuesday afternoon for Chacin when the Padres take on the San Francisco Giants.
Signed on December 17th, the 29-year-old has a respectable career ERA of 3.94 in quite a large sample size of 163 appearances. Chacin has also started the majority of his appearances, taking the mound in the first inning 135 times in his career.
It is unrealistic for fans to expect anything more of Chacin than his past few seasons would indicate. However, a new beginning during the former Los Angeles Angel’s prime seems to provide good conditions which set him up to be the best starter he can be.
Chacin has struggled in the past with walks, handing out 345 free passes in 842 and 2/3 career innings. This is somewhat offset by strikeouts, an area in which Chacin has improved over the years thanks to multiple developing secondary pitches.
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Chacin certainly leaves a lot to be desired as a starter, without a doubt. He is far from dominant, and there is no reason to believe he will be anything more than a mediocre starting pitcher this season or ever. But as a far from risky investment at $1.75 million for just one year, the Padres won’t lose much and aren’t locked into any long term commitments. This takes the pressure off of everyone, including Chacin.
As for Tuesday’s outing, its sole purpose for Chacin will be to get his feet wet in 2017. So fans shouldn’t expect Chacin to be on the mound for more than two innings. Often times, this is enough though to make an impression and reveal the degree to which offseason preparation has paid off.
The Padres take on the Giants on Tuesday afternoon in Peoria. First pitch, to be delivered by Chacin, is scheduled for 12:10 PM PT. The game can be seen locally on Fox Sports San Diego.