Shawn Chacon is ready to start anew in the most unforgiving city in baseball.
Acquired Thursday from Colorado for two Double-A pitchers, Chacon will make his debut in pinstripes when he takes the mound for the New York Yankees in the middle game of their series with the Los Angeles Angels.
Chacon will be the 13th starting pitcher used by the Yankees this season and the 10th to take the mound this month. He said now that he’s free from the thin air of Coors Field he should start pitching to his potential.
“It’s an opportunity for me to try to come in and run with it,” Chacon said. “(Leaving Colorado) is probably going to be a pretty good thing for me. I’ve never seen a pitcher leave Coors Field and become a worse pitcher.”
The 27-year-old right-hander made the All-Star team for the Rockies in 2003 when he had 11 wins at the break, but he is 2-20 in two-plus seasons since.
Colorado moved him to the bullpen last season and he had 35 saves. He also blew nine saves to go along with a 1-9 record and a 7.11 ERA. He is 1-7 with a 4.09 ERA this year in 12 starts and one relief appearance. He gave up a combined five runs over 14 innings in his last two starts, but the Rockies were shut out twice.
Regardless, he figured his days in Colorado were numbered.
“I pretty much know in my heart I was going to be traded, I just didn’t know where,” Chacon said Friday. “When I heard it was the Yankees it was pretty exciting.”
Chacon won’t just be starting for the Yankees on Saturday. He’ll be auditioning for a spot in a rotation that never seems to stop changing.
“This whole transaction comes down to that. He’s going to give us a chance to compete on Saturday, and we’ll see what we see,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.
The Yankees will need a solid start after losing Friday’s series opener 4-1.
Despite the win Friday, the Angels have scored just eight runs in their last 59 innings.
“I could do it all year to be honest,” Byrd said of going on short rest. “I don’t throw that hard. I just have to hit my spots.”