Shawn Chacon

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Shawn Anthony Chacon

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Biographical Information[edit]

Shawn Chacon pitched 8 major league seasons. He was adopted as a 4-year-old after his mother placed him in a foster home. His nickname is Shack.

Amateur Career[edit]

Chacon was 10-0 with 2 saves and a 1.51 ERA as a senior and led his team to a Colorado state title. He only allowed 14 earned runs all season. He had a scholarship offer to Arizona State University, but the Colorado Rockies took him in the third round of the 1996 amateur draft and he signed with them.

Minor Leagues[edit]

Chacon had a fine minor league debut, going 1-2 with a 1.60 ERA for the AZL Rockies; in 56 1/3 innings, he allowed 46 hits and 15 walks while striking out 64. He only gave up one home run. Chacon led the AZL in ERA. Baseball America rated him the #3 prospect in the AZL, behind teammates Jake Westbrook and John Nicholson and well ahead of Ramon Ortiz (#10) and Brad Penny (not in the top 10). Promoted to the Portland Rockies, he was 0-2 with a 6.86 ERA late in the year. He was ranked the 7th overall Rockies prospect, between Westbrook and Doug Million.

In 1997, Shawn was 11-7 with a 3.89 ERA for the Asheville Tourists and fanned 149 in 162 innings. Baseball America rated him the #7 South Atlantic League prospect, right ahead of Westbrook. Chacon missed much of 1998 due to elbow trouble; he was 0-4 with a 5.30 ERA for the Salem Avalanche.

Chacon again saw limited action with Salem in 1999, going 5-5 with a 4.13 ERA. In 2000, the right-hander from Alaska moved up to the Carolina Mudcats and was 10-10 with a 3.16 ERA, striking out 172 in 174 innings but walking 85. He led the Southern League in both strikeouts and walks as well as shutouts (3).

Major Leagues[edit]

Chacon began 2001 with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox but only made four appearances in AAA (2-0, 2.25) before being promoted to the majors. He was 6-10 with a 5.06 ERA for the Rockies; his 134 strikeouts set a franchise rookie record, breaking Armando Reynoso's mark. Only Roy Oswalt had more Ks among rookies in the National League. He had a 105 ERA+. Injuries limited Chacon somewhat in 2002; he was 5-11 with a 5.73 ERA for Colorado and 2-0, 4.79 for Colorado Springs. He did hit .257 that year. Chacon was 11-4 with a 4.27 ERA in the first half of 2003 and made the 2003 All-Star Game but did not pitch in the contest. He was 0-4 with a 5.68 ERA in the second half and finished the year with a 108 ERA+.

Chacon was moved to the closer's role in 2004 and was 1-9 with a 7.11 ERA, 35 saves and 9 blown saves (tying for the NL lead). He had a 1.94 WHIP. He was the third major leaguer to record 30 saves in the year in which he made his first MLB relief appearance; Billy Koch and Kazuhiro Sasaki had done so previously. Chacon was 1-7 with a 4.09 ERA back as a starter for the Rockies in 2005 before being dealt to the New York Yankees for Eduardo Sierra and Ramon Ramirez. He went 7-3 with a 2.85 ERA for the Yankees, snapping the 2-20 skid he had been on since the 2003 All-Star break. He also made the lone postseason appearance of his career that year with a start in the Division Series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The veteran right-hander was 5-3 with a 7.00 ERA for the Yankees in 2006 and was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Craig Wilson. He had a 2-3, 5.48 record for the Pirates. Chacon battled with Tony Armas Jr. for the 5th spot in the Pirates rotation in spring training in 2007, creating the odd spectacle of the two highest-paid pitchers on the club fighting for a minor spot. Chacon lost out and spent most of the year in relief, going 5-4 with a save and a 3.94 ERA in 64 appearances and re-establishing himself once again.

Chacon moved to the Houston Astros as a free agent for 2008. He had a 4.14 ERA after 9 starts - and no decisions despite not getting yanked early much (54 1/3 IP). He thus set a MLB record for the most starts to open a season without getting a decision. Chacon was credited with a win in his 10th start, and had lost his last start of 2007; so he just missed the record of ten straight no-decisions at any time, set by Dick Stigman and tied by two others. He was pulled from the starting rotation in late June, with his record standing at 2-3, 5.04 in 15 starts. Chacon was suspended indefinitely on June 25th after grabbing general manager Ed Wade by the neck and throwing him to the ground. He was waived the next day and never pitched in the majors again.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • NL All-Star (2003)
  • 30 Saves Seasons: 1 (2004)

Primary Sources[edit]

Quotes[edit]

  • "There's a lot more polish to him...he's growing up as a pitcher and as a man." - Clint Hurdle

Related Sites[edit]