TYLER CHATWOOD, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: December 16, 1989
Drafted: 2nd Round, 74th Overall, 2008 (Angels)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
High School: Redlands (CA) East Valley HS
Agent: Excel Sports Management
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Chatwood has had a long career with numerous ups and downs. As a starter, he threw about 93 mph, with a curve, a change, and a slider that he eventually replaced with a cutter. As a reliever his velocity has been in the 94-96 range. He’s had chronic control problems that he’s gotten a handle on only sporadically. He was rushed to the majors in 2011 but eventually came through with a strong 2013 season. Then he was derailed for two years by Tommy John surgery, returned with a good 2015 season, only to be derailed again by control problems after signing a big, three-year contract with the Cubs. Since 2019 he’s pitched mainly in relief. He went to Japan in 2022, but had his season cut short by shoulder surgery. The Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2023.
Chatwood made 11 starts in rookie ball, and managed a good ERA despite serious control problems. Baseball America ranked him 11th in the Angels’ system after the season.
In full season ball, Chatwood made a lot of progress with his control, although the walk rate remained high. Opponents hit .237 against him and the K rate, which seems low nowadays, was good for the time. BA ranked him 14th among Angels’ prospects.
In the high-offense California League, Chatwood got outstanding results over two and a half months. He got his walk rate down further and went deeper into starts. He moved up to AA in mid-June and had a more difficult time there, including a much lower K rate. He made one start in AAA at the end of the season. BA rated him second in the system.
The Angels called Chatwood up after one start in AAA and he stayed in their rotation the rest of the year, apart from two brief trips back to AAA. He held his own in the majors, but as the season went along he got hit harder and harder. Opponents had an OPS against him of .890 in July and over 1.000 in August and September, and his ERA for those three months was 6.62. He had a very low K rate on the season. After the season, the Angels traded Chatwood to Colorado.
Chatwood struggled at three different levels, although pitching in Coors Field and Colorado Springs probably didn’t help. On the whole season, opponents batted .286 against him, and he continued to struggle with the strike zone.
The Rockies sent Chatwood back to AAA, but by mid-May he was in the majors to stay, apart from a one-game rehab after he missed a month with elbow inflammation. He made 20 starts in the majors and pitched well at both levels, with much better control. He allowed only five longballs in the majors, which is impressive for somebody pitching in Coors.
Chatwood went out at the end of April with an elbow strain and eventually had Tommy John surgery.
The Rockies signed Chatwood to a two-year contract in the offseason, but he didn’t return from the surgery until September, when he made two rehab appearances.
Chatwood opened the season back in the Colorado rotation and ultimately made 27 starts for them. He missed time in June and August with back problems, resulting in a couple brief rehabs. He pitched well in the majors again, although the walk and strikeout rates weren’t impressive.
Chatwood spent the season in the Rockies’ rotation and didn’t have quite as good a year as 2016. The main differences were a higher walk rate and gopher balls, of which he allowed 20. He had a string of bad starts beginning in late June and Colorado moved him to the bullpen for about a month. He pitched a lot better after going back to starting. He became a free agent after the season and signed a three-year, $38M deal with the Cubs.
Chatwood’s first season with the Cubs was sunk by the collapse of his control, as he walked nearly a batter an inning. His struggles got worse as the season went along and he pitched only once for them in the majors after mid-August.
The Cubs employed Chatwood in the bullpen, except for a few spot starts. It seemed to help, as his control improved, although it still wasn’t good, and his K rate increased. He also got a jump in velocity from 93 mph to almost 96.
During the pandemic season, Chatwood made five starts for the Cubs and otherwise missed time, part of August with a back strain and most of September with forearm tightness. He became a free agent after the season and signed with Toronto.
Chatwood spent most of the first half of the season in the Blue Jays’ bullpen, although he missed some time in April with triceps inflammation. He didn’t pitch especially well as his control was very poor again. He went out at the beginning of July with a strained neck and missed half the month. Toronto sent him to AAA on rehab, but then released him at the end of the month. The Giants signed him to a minor league deal a few days later and called him up in mid-August. He made two appearances for them, then missed September with an unknown injury. He became a free agent after the season and signed to play in Japan.
In Japan, Chatwood made six appearances and control continued to be a major problem. He had shoulder surgery in June, ending his season.
Chatwood will be a low-risk lottery ticket for the Pirates. He’s had meaningful success in the majors, but control and injury problems have been far more common than success. He’s expected to be ready for spring training.
|2023: Minor League Salary
|Signing Bonus: $547,000
MiLB Debut: 2008
MLB Debut: 4/11/2011
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2023
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 11/20/2014
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2011, 2012, 2013)
MLB Service Time: 10.037
|June 5, 2008: Drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 2nd round, 74th overall pick; signed on June 13.
April 10, 2011: Contract purchased by the Los Angeles Angels.
November 30, 2011: Traded by the Los Angeles Angels to the Colorado Rockies for Chris Iannetta.
November 2, 2017: Became a free agent.
December 7, 2017: Signed as a free agent by the Chicago Cubs.
October 28, 2020: Became a free agent.
January 21, 2021: Signed as a free agent by the Toronto Blue Jays.
July 30, 2021: Designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays; released on July 31.
August 5, 2021: Signed as a minor league free agent by the San Francisco Giants.
August 18, 2021: Called up by the San Francisco Giants.
November 3, 2021: Became a free agent.
December 21, 2022: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.