SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies have spent much of their existence trying to demystify pitching at altitude. Right-handed pitcher Tyler Chatwood has his own way.He doesn't get all mystical about it in the first place.If he's level-headed about the place after last season -- when he posted a Major League
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies have spent much of their existence trying to demystify pitching at altitude. Right-handed pitcher Tyler Chatwood has his own way.
He doesn't get all mystical about it in the first place.
If he's level-headed about the place after last season -- when he posted a Major League best (80 innings minimum) 1.69 road ERA but had a 6.12 at home -- then he's not going to let the place climb into his head.
Besides, he has pitched decently or better there before -- 4-2, 4.94 in 2012 and 5-2, 3.50 in 2013 before missing much of 2014 and 2015 because of Tommy John surgery.
"I didn't dive into it too much. I think I had three games that ruined my ERA at home, so I wasn't really worried about that," Chatwood said. "I would go back and look at the games I struggled. I walked a couple guys that I shouldn't have -- wasted at-bats for the most part. Two-out walks and leadoff walks, that's what really killed me last year.
"I think I threw the ball the same way. The results were obviously better on the road."
The split might have been dramatic, but Chatwood, 27, emerged with his confidence intact.
The surgery during the 2014 season was the second on the same elbow. He had one at age 16. The comeback was long, also. No matter how it was sliced, 12-9 with a 3.87 ERA on a team that went 75-87 is a nice comeback.
"I felt I got stronger as the season went on," Chatwood said. "Just having that confidence going forward, I know there's room to build. I made a lot of mistakes that I felt I shouldn't have. But overall, for not pitching for as long as I did, I was happy that may arm strength and everything was there."
More concerning than the home-road split were two trips to the disabled list with back strains. Chatwood said he pitched through the pain in several outings, but he believes detailed analysis of how he had to exercise based on how his body moves naturally, plus smarter work addressed the issue.
"It's keeping my core braced anytime I do any kind of lift, and I felt my movement patterns are a lot better," Chatwood said. "And when there was stress during the season, I tried to lift like I did during the offseason. I know I have to limit what I do and how much stuff I do."
Rockies manager Bud Black said Chatwood will address the home-road split with trademark intensity.
"That's a process that you have to do every day," Black said. "There's a mental component to it. But this guy's a battler, man. You guys know it. He's a bulldog. That's something that he's looking to turn around."
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and** like his Facebook page**.