MESA, Ariz. — Is it still too soon to start wondering if Cubs newcomer Tyler Chatwood is going to be really good?

The 28-year-old right-hander, who signed a three-year, $38 million free-agent deal with the team in the offseason, had his best outing of a promising spring in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over the Giants at Sloan Park.

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Chatwood pitched five innings of shutout ball, allowing one hit and striking out nine. His spring ERA in four starts: a puny 0.82. That covers only 11 innings, but who’s counting?

“It was good,” he said of his latest effort, “but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.”

Chatwood has his full arsenal working right now.

“I feel like I’m able to throw strikes with my cutter and changeup when I need to, to get me back in counts,” he said. “I’ve always been heavily reliant on my fastball, so if I’m able to keep them off my fastball with the cutter and changeup, it’s just going to make my fastball play that much better.

“And I think I did that tonight. I was able to throw cutters when I was behind and then freeze some guys late on fastballs. So it was nice.”

His experience thus far as a Cub? Also nice.

“Yeah, it’s awesome,” he said. “Obviously, playing against these guys you see them and you see how much fun they’re having, but they’re winning games at the same time. I think that’s the culture they’ve built here. It’s great to be a part of.”

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Source:: Chicago Sun-Times – Sports


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