Can Chavez Rise To The Occasion?

Updated: March 6, 2017

Last Wednesday, Jesse Chavez pitched rather well in his spring debut for the Angels. Against the division rival Rangers, he made it through two innings without allowing a runner to cross home plate. In conjunction with this, Chavez whiffed three Rangers during his time on the mound.

Chavez will be given another opportunity to prove himself today against the defending champion Chicago Cubs. On Feb. 28, the Halos overcame the Cubs by a final tally of 7-5, so for Chavez to rise to the occasion would be huge. It is not to say it will be easy, however, given that the opponent speaks for itself more or less.

If Chavez can build on last week’s start, he would likely further solidify his candidacy for the fifth and final spot in the Halos starting rotation. It would thus make him more than a mere favorite at this point to land the position.

Considering Chavez has had a bit of a sporadic career, to earn a full-time, crucial role with the club would plausibly boost his confidence. Last year, for instance, he spent time with both the Blue Jays and the crosstown Dodgers. Taking this into account, there is no doubt the right-hander would like to have some degree of security.

Today will be a tougher contest than the last one Chavez appeared in. He will be battling against Jake Arrieta, the NL’s Cy Young Award winner in 2015. Even though Arrieta did not necessarily duplicate that absurd 1.77 ERA in 2016, he is still one of the more formidable arms the game has to offer.

No matter what transpires today, nothing is a given at this point. There are still a lot more games to go prior to Opening Day. Certainly, to leap past an ace-caliber pitcher like Arrieta would only increase Chavez’ odds of getting what he wants.

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