Opening Day start symbolizes important role for Chacin

AP Photo/Morry Gash

AP Photo/Morry Gash

There is nothing like starting on Opening Day.

It’s a special honor bestowed to a pitcher.

Rockies manager Walt Weiss named Jhoulys Chacin as his Opening Day starter against the Brewers at Miller Park on April 1.

There is a meaning to this start for the 25-year old righty.

For one thing, it means the Rockies are relying on him to be their ace.

Second of all, it’s a reward for him finishing the season strong by going 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA in his last nine starts after coming off an injury.

Finally, Weiss thought he earned it for a good spring. He could have went with Jeff Francis, who was worthy of starting Opening Day.

Chacin knows the Rockies are expecting him to set the tone in winning Opening Day. It’s a responsibility he embraces. He feels he has the stuff to be an elite pitcher.

The Rockies are searching for any starter to be an ace. They feel Chacin is the best guy for that role. He has a good command, and he is a strikeout pitcher based on him striking out 346 hitters in the four years he pitched. He is a guy that is not afraid to go after hitters on the mound.

They are banking on him to have a great year as long as he is healthy.

They hope they are right about him. They need to be.

It’s been well-documented that for the Rockies to have a winning season, they need some pitchers to step up. There are so many question marks on the staff. The Rockies feel they got three established starters to win games in Jorge De La Rosa, Jeff Francis and Chacin, and they feel Drew Pomeranz can evolve into an efficient starter.

It’s one thing to have faith with these guys, but it’s another thing for them to perform.

No one knows what those guys will do.

The Rockies can talk all they want about Chacin being a guy that can win every fifth day, but he still has to do it.

He showed he can be reliable by winning 9 games in 2010 and 11 games in 2011.

Still, the Rockies want to see more. They want Chacin to be healthy, and they want him to win at least 17 games this year. They certainly want him to have a winning season, which he never had in his career.

There are expectations for Chacin. It’s time for him to take the next step. He has pitched long enough that he should strive to be better.

The Rockies feel Chacin can have a breakout year.

This year is when the team finds out if he grows up or not.

The organization hopes he does. They have struggled forever to find an ace, and it’s hard to find and develop young starters.

Chacin is the team’s next hope. He either fulfills what the organization expects out of him or he joins long list of starters who could not get it done in being the ace for the Rockies.

The Rockies would love to see the cycle end of finding someone who can be an ace.

They would like to see Chacin be the #1 starter for the next five years. If he can’t do it now, he will never be. He has to bear that burden.

By starting Chacin on Opening Day, Weiss is giving him confidence that he can be trusted to be the ace. Maybe that gets his starter going. A win can start something good for him. This is what the rookie manager is banking on.

An Opening Day start should symbolize that Chacin has responsibilities in that role.

It will be interesting how he handles this spot on Opening Day. If he does well, maybe this could be the start of something special for him.

It may be one start, but there is lot riding on that start for him.

This Opening Day start will show if Chacin can handle the responsibility of that special occasion, it will show how far he has come from being a young starter.

This start is more than just starting the first game of the year. It’s about being a leader of that staff. It’s about being a guy that wants the challenge.

This Opening Day start for Chacin is not only starting the first game, but it’s about showing growth.

This start certainly has some meaning for Chacin.

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