Jhoulys Jose Chacin Molina
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 200 lb.
- High School Liceo Jesus Enrique Lossada
- Debut July 25, 2009
Jhoulys Chacin was signed by scouts Rolando Fernandez, Francisco Cartaya and Orlando Medina for the Colorado Rockies in 2004. He made his pro debut in 2005 when he went 3-1 with a 4.32 ERA and 48 K in 50 IP for the DSL Rockies. With the same club in 2006, the teenager was 4-1 with a 1.49 ERA, fanning 67 while allowing 60 hits and 18 walks in 72 2/3 IP.
Chacin came stateside in 2007 with the Casper Rockies, going 6-5 with a 3.13 ERA. He was third in the Pioneer League in ERA, tied Juan Moreno and Robert Fish for the strikeout lead (77) and led in innings (92). He made the All-Star team. Baseball America rated him as the #13 prospect in the circuit.
The young Venezuelan was better in 2008. He split the year between the Asheville Tourists (10-1, 1.86, .205 opponent average) and Modesto Nuts (8-2, 2.31, only 12 walks in 66 1/3 IP). He was named Colorado's minor league player of the year by Baseball America. He led the affiliated minors in wins (18), tied for third in innings (177 2/3) and was sixth in ERA. His 160 strikeouts tied Cory Riordan for most in the Rockies chain, tied for 6th in the affiliated minors. Had he qualified, he would have been second in the South Atlantic League in ERA behind Madison Bumgarner; as is, he made the SAL All-Star team as the top right-handed pitcher despite his mid-season call-up. Baseball America rated him as the circuit's #4 prospect behind Bumgarner, Jason Heyward and Mike Stanton. Had he qualified, he would have led the high-scoring California League in ERA. Baseball America ranked him as the 5th-best Cal League prospect after Trevor Cahill, Carlos Santana, Lars Anderson and Brett Anderson. They also named him Colorado's #2 prospect and as having the best changeup of any Rockies farmhand.
Chacin made his major league debut with the Rockies in 2009, pitching 9 times with a record of 0-1, 4.91. He was 1-2 with a 4.73 ERA for the Leones del Caracas in his debut in the Venezuelan League. He spent most of 2010 in the Rockies' starting rotation with excellent results, going 9-11, 3.28 in 28 games, including 21 starts. He pitched 137 1/3 innings and struck out 138 batters, while walking 60. His losing record belied an outstanding ERA+ of 142. In 2011, he made 31 starts as the Rockies' ace, with a record of 11-14, 3.62 (a 126 ERA+). He pitched 194 innings and while he led the National League with 87 walks (one ahead of Tim Lincecum), he also struck out 150 batters and only allowed 168 hits, once again pitching much better than his won/loss record indicated. He was also among the league leaders in fewest hits per 9 innings (between Mat Latos and Shaun Marcum), losses (tied for 4th) and ERA+ (between Lincecum and Matt Cain).
In 2012, shoulder inflammation limited Chacin to 14 starts and 69 innings as he missed the middle chunk of the season. In his absence, the Rockies experimented with a four-man starting rotation in which starters were limited to 75 pitches, a move which continued after his return in August and depressed every starter's statistics - not that the team's awful performance overall did not do a good job of that by itself. Thus, Chacin had a record of 3-5, although for the third straight year, his ERA+ was above average, as his 4.43 ERA translated into a 108 ERA+. He was eligible for arbitration after the season, but after he and the team had exchanged initial figures, they agreed on a two-year deal on January 27th that would pay Chacin a total of $6.5 million. Around that time, Jhoulys was also named a member of the Venezuelan national team for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He also pitched for Caracas for the first time in three years, going 3-1 with a 4.04 ERA. He went on to have an excellent 2013 season with the Rockies, making 31 starts and going 14-10 with a 3.47 ERA in 197 1/3 innings.
The Rockies got some bad news as spring training was getting under way in 2014, however, as Chacin was shut down in late February with inflammation in his right shoulder and had to undergo an MRI. He ended up making only 11 starts that season, with poor results: a 1-7 record and a 5.40 ERA. When he had still not regained his velocity and was being hit very hard in spring training in 2015, the Rockies took the unexpected decision to give him his unconditional release on March 22nd, in order to save part of the $5.5 million due him had he remained with the team. They judged that he was unlikely to recover enough to give them much value that season, and preferred to just cut him loose. However given his past success, it was likely that another team would likely give him a chance to work himself back to full strength - but at a significantly lower salary. He joined the Cleveland Indians but obtained his release from the team in mid-June when he was not brought up to the big league team in spite of pitching well for the AAA Columbus Clippers (1-3, 3.21 in 7 starts). He joined the Arizona Diamondbacks and spent most of the rest of season of the minors, going 6-3, 3.22 with the Reno Aces and making just 5 appearance with the major league D-Backs in 2015. He was 2-1, 3.38 during that span.
Chacin joined the Atlanta Braves before the 2016 season and went 1-2, 5.40 in 5 starts before being traded on May 11th to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He pitched 29 games for them, including 17 starts, and was 5-6, 4.68. He moved again after the season, this time to the San Diego Padres, and continued on his path of steady improvement since having been released by Colorado. He was the team's most effective starting pitcher in 2017, with a record of 13-10, 3.89 in 32 starts and 180 1/3 innings.
Having reestablished his value, he was able to sign a two-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers on December 20, 2017 reported to be worth $8 million per annum. It turned out to be an excellent signing for Milwaukee, as Chacin was the ace of the staff in 2018, going 15-8, 3.50 in 35 starts and logging 192 2/3 innings. On October 5th, he won Game 2 of the NLDS against the Rockies by pitching 5 scoreless innings before letting the bullpen do the rest. It was the first postseason appearance of his career. He made two more starts in the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, going 1-1, 2.45. However, his start in the decisive Game 7 on October 20th lasted just 2 innings as manager Craig Counsell decided to warm up ace reliever Josh Hader when he ran into some trouble in the 2nd inning, and then, not wanting to force his key reliever to get up and down numerous times in the bullpen, replaced him with a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the inning in order to use Hader immediately.
In 2019, things did not go as well even though the Brewers continued to be one of the top teams in the National League. By the end of May, he was leading the league with 7 losses, against just 3 wins, and his ERA was 5.74 after 12 starts. His final start of the month, on May 31st against the Pittsburgh Pirates, went particularly badly as he gave up 7 runs in just 2 2/3 innings; that included a horrendous 3rd inning in which he walked three consecutive batters with the bases loaded.
- 15 Wins Seasons: 1 (2018)
- 2007-2009 Baseball Almanacs
- 2009 Rockies Media Guide