Chacin looking sharp, working to hone fastball

Chacin looking sharp, working to hone fastball

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin showed signs of rounding into form with three scoreless innings in the Rockies' 6-2 victory over the Royals on Sunday.

Chacin, limited to 11 starts last season because of right labrum and rotator cuff damage (1-7, 5.40 ERA) after a strong 2013 (14-10, 3.47), threw strikes on 25 of his 33 pitches. He gave up four hits, struck out one and forced a double-play grounder. Chacin's best sequence came in the sixth, when he forced a Chelsor Cuthbert line drive and a Jorge Bonafacio infield popup after Brett Eibner doubled to put runners at second and third.

In his first Cactus League outing on March 5, Chacin's mechanics were rusty -- it was his first outing since last June 28 -- and he gave up two runs in 1 2/3 innings against the D-backs. On Wednesday against the Dodgers, he gave up one run on three hits in two innings. Chacin had one strikeout in each outing.

The first spring step was throwing the slider pain-free. Now it's sharpening his fastball, which will make all of his pitches more difficult for hitters to predict and handle.

"I liked the way he used his fastball today," manager Walt Weiss said. "He's used it a little more each time out and is getting more confidence with his fastball. He's getting better in all aspects."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.