The Angels finally got around filling out their injury-plagued rotation on Wednesday, acquiring veteran RHP Jhoulys Chacin from the Braves in exchange for minor-league reliever Adam McCreery. Chacin, whose first name is unfortunately not pronounced like Caesar or Orange but rather “YO-leese,” will report to Anaheim on Thursday and will make his debut on Saturday against the Mariners.
The 28-year-old is highly unlikely to help the Angels jump back into contention, but he should save them from the embarrassment of having the worst rotation in baseball. Chacin was on the DL for much of 2014 with shoulder issues and spent most of 2015 with the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate, but is still on the right side of 30 and only a few years removed from being an above-average starter for Colorado. Among starting pitchers with at least 200 innings thrown for the Rockies, Chacin’s 120 ERA+ (in 672 IP) is second only to Ubaldo Jimenez in franchise history. His career ERA away from Coors Field? 3.41.
His 5.40 ERA through five starts with Atlanta this year is unsightly, but his 9.1 K/9, 3.98 FIP, and uptick in velocity back to his pre-shoulder-woe days seem to indicate that better days are on the horizon. Again, the odds that he’ll breathe new life into the Angels are slim, but he can at least stop the bleeding.
To bring in Chacin, the Angels sent left-handed reliever Adam McCreery back to Atlanta. The 23-year-old and former 22nd round pick spent the last two seasons putting up mediocre numbers as a Rookie Ball elder—a 3.55 ERA, 7.8 BB/9, 11.6 K/9 in 38 IP—and seems on track for yet another trip through short-season ball this year. The Braves obviously see something in the SoCal native, but his prospects are thin. That the Halos were able to land even a fringe starter for such a small return is a feather in Billy Eppler’s cap.