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Chatwood successful in his first AFL outing

DENVER -- Rockies pitcher Tyler Chatwood, trying to build up his innings total, struck out six against zero walks in four innings on Tuesday in his first Arizona Fall League start.

Chatwood, who went 5-6 with a 5.43 ERA in 19 games (12 starts) in the Majors in 2012, gave up two runs and four hits in the Salt River Rafters' 6-5 victory over the Mesa Solar Sox. One of the runs against him came on a homer by Cubs infield prospect Javier Baez, 19, the team's top pick in the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

The Rockies acquired Chatwood, 22, from the Angels last winter. Chatwood started this past season in the Rockies' bullpen under a plan to help him develop pitch efficiency. He was sent to the Minors twice, the first time to Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he missed time with a chest muscle injury before earning another promotion, and the second time to Double-A Tulsa.

Also in Tuesday's game, outfield prospect Kent Matthew, who struggled through a strained oblique at Double-A Tulsa after earning California League Most Valuable Player honors in 2011, went 2-for-4 with a home run. Corey Dickerson went 1-for-4 as designated hitter, catcher Lars Davis went 0-for-3, and right-handed reliever Cory Riordan gave up two hits and one run and struck out one in the eighth to earn the win.

Chatwood finished the year in the Rockies' rotation, but the club put him in instructional ball and in the AFL to make sure he made up for the innings he missed while in the bullpen and while injured. He has thrown a total of eight innings after the season -- four in an Arizona instructional league game. Chatwood has a total of 134 combined innings, with 64 2/3 in the Majors and 61 1/3 in the Minors. He threw 158 last year -- 142 for the Angels and the rest in Triple-A -- last year.

Also throwing in instructional ball are right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, who was out from the end of May until late August because of a nerve issue in his chest, and left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, who didn't appear in a Major League game until September following Tommy John elbow surgery in June 2011.

Each threw four innings in instructional ball, with Chacin -- who finished the regular season strong, giving up one run or fewer in six of his final nine starts -- looking sharper than De La Rosa. Also, right-hander Juan Nicasio, coming back from a season-ending knee injury, most recently threw a competitive bullpen session in instructional ball. Nicasio plans to pitch in the Dominican Republic this winter.

Colorado Rockies, Jhoulys Chacin, Tyler Chatwood, Juan Nicasio