PEORIA, Ariz. -- Jhoulys Chacin wants to keep his routine as normal as possible this spring.Easy in theory. Not so much in practice -- especially considering the Padres right-hander will leave the team next week for an undefined role and an indefinite period of time.:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::Chacin
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Jhoulys Chacin wants to keep his routine as normal as possible this spring.
Easy in theory. Not so much in practice -- especially considering the Padres right-hander will leave the team next week for an undefined role and an indefinite period of time.
:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::
Chacin made his Padres debut Tuesday, allowing one run over two innings in a 9-5 Cactus League victory over San Francisco. He's going to make one more start -- likely three frames early next week -- before he joins Venezuela for the World Baseball Classic.
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"You have to forget about having four more weeks," Chacin said. "I have 10 more days. Your approach to getting to the season and getting to the WBC is a little bit different. At the same time, you're just trying to make pitches."
Right now Venezuela is likely to throw Felix Hernandez and Martin Perez in its first two group games. Chacin is a prime candidate for the March 12 finale against Mexico, but nothing has been announced.
In San Diego, meanwhile, Chacin already has his rotation spot locked up. The opportunity to start was one of the main reasons he inked a one-year deal with the Padres in December.
In 2013, Chacin was brilliant during his last full season as a starter. He posted a 3.47 ERA over 31 starts -- 18 of which came at Coors Field, a bona fide hitter's paradise. But injuries limited him over the next two years, and he struggled last season, splitting time between the Angels and Braves.
Chacin throws four pitches regularly, and the Padres signed him with the intention of tinkering with his pitch selection. Manager Andy Green wouldn't go into specifics but noted that he believes stuff isn't the issue with Chacin.
"We think what he brings to the table, his four-pitch mix, is more than enough to get guys out," said Green. "It's just what he's using and when he's using it. You change those things around, and it changes the results."
It's fair to assume the Padres would like Chacin to throw his slider more frequently. Over his eight-year career, opponents are batting just .149 against the pitch, according to Fangraphs. But historically, Chacin has thrown his slider less than 20 percent of the time.
Chacin will be looking to harness those adjustments with Team Venezuela next month. He said the pain from being eliminated in the first group stage in 2013 still lingers, and he's eager for a better showing this year.
"It's a huge thing for the country," Chacin said. "We are a baseball country. We really want to do well -- for us and for [the fans.]"
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.