Chatwood and Parra looking for growth in last month of the season

Jul 19, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies manager Walt Weiss (22) pulls starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood (32) in the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Chatwood hasn’t pitched well at Coors Field all season. That didn’t change in his first start since going on the disabled list on Aug. 16. But that doesn’t creep into his mind when he’s on the mound.

“When you look back, I was one of the better guys that pitched here before this year,” Chatwood said. “I think I’ve had bad luck. I haven’t made pitches here when I’ve needed to here, but I feel like I’ve given up a big inning in a couple of games that have cost me. I don’t think pitching here has anything to do with that.”

Chatwood pitched five innings, allowing six runs (five earnd) on seven hits, as the Rockies dropped game two of the series 9-4 against the Diamondbacks. He is now 4-8 with a 5.67 ERA with 73 innings pitched at Coors Field this season. Even with his struggles at home, combined with his road performance, Chatwood is arguably the best pitcher on the staff with 10 wins and an overall 3.75 ERA.

Manager Walt Weiss doesn’t think the Coors Field mentality is a factor on his performance either.

“He started out the first inning looking sharp with the velocity was up and the ball was up. I think it was the third when they go the five. He started getting into bad counts. When those innings show up, I think it’s a lack of command at that point,” Weiss said.

This is Chatwood’s second time coming back from the DL after an extended stint from Tommy John surgery last season. Chatwood has learned and experienced growth coming off his second stint.

“I think the first time [I went on the DL] I wanted to get back and I didn’t really rest very much. I was pitching through a lot of stuff before I went on this time. It was just unfortunate that I had to go on,” he said.

Either way, Chatwood said he is feeling 100 percent now. No matter the result, the Rockies are grateful to have their best pitcher back.

“I feel like my [stuff] has been up the whole second half really. You never feel good after you lose a game. But like I thought my stuff was good tonight and that’s what stinks when the results weren’t very good tonight.”

Other Notes:

Gerardo Parra went 2-for-4 with a double and his sixth home run of the season Saturday night. It was his first home run since June 6. Parra is batting .405 this season against the Diamondbacks and in the six games he has started at first base he is hitting .364 and has a fielding percentage of 1.000 in those starts.

With the September roster expansion bringing in Raimel Tapia and David Dahl earlier in the season, there is a logjam in the outfield. With a need at first base because of Mark Reynolds’ lingering hand injury, Parra has rose to the occasion moving to his new position after an ankle injury kept him out for over a month earlier this year.

Parra said that there is nothing big going on with his ankle now; it’s just a little soreness that he feels every time and that the doctor recommended he rest over the offseason. He feels better physically and at the plate. Weiss said that he feels comfortable with Parra at first and that he thinks Parra has solidified himself as the first baseman going forward against right-handers.

That doesn’t mean that the position change hasn’t come with some hiccups. Parra let a pop up in foul territory to drop between him and catcher Tom Murphy.

“I feel better, but it’s not because I’m playing first base. It’s not easy playing first base, but I try the best I can for my team. I’m trying not to think too much. Maybe I feel better but I play outfield. That’s my position,” Parra said smiling and laughing. “But it’s good for me because you never know when you’re going to get into the lineup.”

With two years left on his contract and a crowded outfield, Parra may get many more looks at first base competing in 2017. September is all about looking at new talent for the Rockies. Even if that talent has been on the team the whole season.

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