SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Jhoulys Chacin does not have to worry about earning a spot in Colorado's starting rotation. His first time on the mound this spring was an example of why he has the job sewn up.
The 23-year-old right-hander threw two hitless innings Monday and the Rockies went on to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-5.
``Of course you want to keep working hard and try not to give up too many runs or walks, but I'm pitching more relaxed than last year,' he said.
Chacin, under orders to work on his fastball command in the offseason, threw only two sliders and one changeup. The rest were fastballs.
``I was trying to throw my fastball for a strike,' he said. ``If they get a base hit or a run, that happens. I just didn't want to walk anybody.'
Rockies manager Jim Tracy said he is impressed with the evolution of the young Venezuelan, who started last season in the minors but eventually cracked the rotation, going 9-11 with a 3.28 ERA for the Rockies.
``You're seeing a kid that's just evolving into becoming somebody that has a chance to be special,' Tracy said. ``That's what you're watching with this kid.'
The only batter to reach against Chacin was Justin Uptown, who got there on an error by shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Chacin promptly picked off Upton at first.
Esmil Rogers relieved Chacin and gave up a hit in two scoreless innings. Huston Street gave up a run in one inning in his first outing of the spring. Brandon Allen, in the fight for the first base job for Arizona, singled against Street and stole second. He advanced to third on Street's wild pitch, then scored on a groundout.
Armando Galarraga, whose perfect game for Detroit was ruined by an imperfect umpiring call last season, gave up a run with the second hitter of the game still at the plate - a scene reminiscent of the last-place Diamondbacks of the past two seasons.
Leadoff batter Dexter Fowler singled, then stole second. Shortstop Geoff Blum dropped the throw from catcher Henry Blanco, allowing Fowler to take third. Fowler scored on Galarraga's wild pitch.
Jonathan Herrera tripled down the right-field line, then scored when Charlie Blackmon grounded out.
Top Arizona prospect Jarrod Parker pitched for the first time this spring after missing all of last season following reconstructive elbow surgery. The hard-throwing 22-year-old right-hander struck out Matt Pagnozzi, then walked three of the next four batters to load the bases.
He escaped the jam when Tulowitzki popped out to right.
Parker, whose fastball hits the mid-to-upper 90s, said he let it loose a few times, then reined it in only to have even more control problems. But he was pleased with how he was able to get out of trouble, especially against a hitter of Tulowitzk's caliber.
While he most likely will start the season at Double-A Mobile and come up to the big club a couple of months into the season, Parker says he considers himself a contender for one of the two spots available in Arizona's rotation to start the season.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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