Jesse Chavez is with his sixth different organization and the opportunity to start in the big-leagues right now with the Toronto Blue Jays is one he’s long wanted.
Under those circumstances, it’s easy for a 28-year-old journeyman like him to feel extra pressure on himself, eager to make the most of it, fearful of what happens if he doesn’t.
“I think that’s a real possibility and probably natural, as well,” manager John Farrell said before Chavez surrendered six runs in six innings of a 9-0 loss to the Miami Marlins. “He might feel like the leash, when you come to realize an opportunity, might be a short leash and I think some of his body language indicated that.
“That’s where the conversations are ‘Hey, you’re going to get the ball, go out there and trust your stuff,” because low to mid-90s that he throws in the lower part of the strike zone, he’s got plenty of stuff to get you. It’s just a matter of relaxing and saying, ‘Here, take this opportunity, don’t compound it with what you might be thinking otherwise, and affect any future decisions or anything you have control over, and that’s doing what he does best, pitch ahead in the count.”
Chavez did that in spurts Sunday, a far better outing than the 2.2-inning mess he delivered Tuesday in Milwaukee when he allowed four runs on four hits and walked four batters.
This time out he walked no one, struck out six, but came undone to start a four-run second, surrendering four straight hits capped by John Buck’s three-run shot into the trippy fountain in centre field at Marlins Park.
Chavez (0-1) recovered to retire 12 of his next 13 batters, but gave up a two-run shot to Greg Dobbs in the sixth, his final frame of work, to put the Blue Jays down 6-0.
At minimum he provided them with some innings, and right now that’s the priority, although there was some quality there, too. But he needs to give his teammates more of a chance, and he didn’t do enough of that Sunday afternoon.