Iannetta Sent Down
Having taken the PCL by storm, heralded Sky Sox starter
Jhoulys Chacin was called up to the Rockies to fill the rotation slot of
injured Rox hurler Jorge de la Rosa.
With a 1.69 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 21.1 innings (8.86 K/9
rate), the Denver brass decided it was the right time to give Chacin and his
big changeup another go-round against MLB hitters.
While it remains to be seen how Chacin will perform this time
around in the big leagues, there is no question that the Sky Sox’ best pitcher
has the requisite talent.
In four starts this season, Chacin has allowed just four
earned runs – all coming in his second start against Portland. His three other
trips to the hill all resulted in shutout victories for the Sox.
But Chacin is much more than just a high-octane, strikeout
With a high groundball:flyball ratio of nearly two, the
hurler follows Denver’s model of success for young pitchers to a T – throw low
strikes, miss bats, and kill as many worms as possible.
In short, Chacin is looking every bit the ace the Sky Sox
thought they had to start the year.
Though he will be sorely missed in the Colorado Springs rotation,
the Sky Sox couldn’t be more excited to see another one of their talented
youngsters graduate to the big leagues — and continue on with what should be a
long, illustrious career.
Iannetta to the
Rockies starting catcher, Chris Iannetta, was sent down to
Colorado Springs on Tuesday after scuffling out of the gate to begin the
season. With just four hits in 30 at-bats (.133), Iannetta managed just a .235
OBP and .333 slugging percentage – a far cry from his 18 home runs and .264
average that made him one of the best young catchers in the National League during
the ’08 campaign.
With fellow backstop Miguel Olivo relieving pressure from
the team with his torrid start, the Rockies thought that now was the perfect time
to give Iannetta some AAA at-bats to get him back on track.
The stint will be Iannetta’s fourth with Colorado Springs,
as he had spent parts of 2006, 2007, and 2009 with the club. Between those
three partial seasons, Iannetta was able to hit .336 with five homers in 260
With his talent, Iannetta should provide an immediate boost
to the Sky Sox catching corps that has struggled out of the gate thus far.
Incumbent Sox catchers Michael McKenry and Paul Phillips have hit just
14-for-67 (.209) to date with just one home run and five RBI.
Perhaps the biggest question yet to be resolved will be the dispersal of playing time between McKenry and Iannetta. While Iannetta will get plenty of at-bats by order of the big club, the Rox would be remiss to sacrifice the playing time of their best catching prospect, McKenry.
Thankfully, the Sky Sox can fall back on manager Stu Cole’s expertise and guidance, which will be critical in the handling of this situation.
Sky Sox closer Juan Rincon was promoted Tuesday
along with Chacin and Phillips. With five saves on the season, Rincon will
provide a boost to the Rox’ relief corps.
To fill the rotation spot vacated by Jhoulys
Chacin, the Sox will call upon swing man Alan Johnson (0-0, 3.60). Allowing
just one earned run in his first two starts, Johnson is proving once again how
valuable a commodity he is – providing depth in the ‘pen while still a great
option to fill in for spot duty. Johnson finished second on the team in innings
pitched (143.0 IP) last season while tying with Brandon Hynick for first in
Sox relievers Kurt Birkins and Matt Wilhite were
activated to fill Chacin’s and Rincon’s roster spots.