Next up on our reviews of the San Francisco Giants 54 players from the 2021 season is the man you’ve all been waiting for: right-handed pitcher Tyler Chatwood.
2 games, 4 innings, 6.75 ERA, 4.92 FIP, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk, 0.0 fWAR, -0.3 rWAR
The Giants 2021 season will be remembered for two things: being the best in franchise history, in terms of wins, and for being yet another year that you won’t be able to get close to completing when you decide to binge all of the “can you name all of the Giants from the ____ season?” Sporcle quizzes on some random January day in a few years.
They may have won 107 games, but the Giants still used three position players who got 10 or fewer plate appearances, and 11 pitchers who threw 10 or fewer innings.
So while Chatwood may be an inconsequential part of their season — and certainly a name you omit when you attempt said Sporcle quiz — he’s far from the only person to check those boxes.
If I had told you before the season started that Chatwood — then with the Toronto Blue Jays — would pitch for the Giants, you probably could have come up with some scenarios. Perhaps the middling Giants claimed him off of waivers with hopes that he could have a few good starts and be flipped at the deadline — it’s not that far from what they did with Drew Pomeranz. Maybe they already traded two or three of their starting pitchers at the deadline and needed someone, anyone, to eat innings and help get to the finish line of the season.
Maybe you even got really optimistic and thought that the Blue Jays had a bad year, the Giants had a good one, Chatwood bounced back to 2016 levels, and the Giants re-upped at the deadline.
What I’m guessing you wouldn’t have seen coming is what happened: the Giants having the best record in baseball, claiming the struggling and DFA’d Chatwood and stashing him in AAA, and then adding him to the roster to help them win games during the most intense regular season race you’ve ever witnessed.
Baseball is strange.
Chatwood only needed four innings to both prove why the Giants had claimed him off waivers, and why the Blue Jays had sent him packing. There were some gorgeous pitches and a lot of strikeouts, accompanied by twice as many baserunners as innings pitched, and more runs than innings pitched, too. Most of the damage came in his first of two games, when he was put in an unenviable situation: taking over in the 11th inning of a tied game, having not pitched a Major League game in six weeks.
It didn’t work, but his recovery outing was nice, and then he was done.
Role in 2022
I would presume Chatwood will start 2022 on a Minor League deal with a team that is not the Giants, but they’ve surprised me before and they’ll surprise me again.