Ex-Rockies pitcher Chatwood signs to play in Japan
Former MLB pitcher, Tyler Chatwood has agreed a contract to sign for Japanese side Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, according to reports in the Japanese media.
Chatwood has spent a decade in the majors, where he played for the Colorado Rockies for five seasons between 2012-2017, the side that yielded his best form.
The 32-year-old has struggled over the last few seasons since leaving the Rockies, with inconsistency while at the Toronto Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants.
Platform to perform once again
Despite being out of the major spotlight, baseball is a well-followed sport in Japan and it will give Chatwood a chance to play without as much pressure on him and rediscover his best form.
Upon signing for the Rockies in 2012, big things were expected from the player and while he put in some good performances, a series of injury problems prevented him from really living up to the hype that was anticipated.
The less pressurised environment of the Japanese outfit, in addition to the expertise that he can pass onto players there could help to boost his confidence and he has the opportunity to become a cult hero in Japan.
Whether the Hawks use Chatwood as a reliever or a starter will be interesting, although the player will no doubt want to use this as a platform to get back to his best which may prompt a move back to the MLB.
What can be expected from Chatwood?
If the player is to get back to his best form, a lot will depend on his physical condition, which could lead to potentially alternative medicine, with Japan understood to be considered revolutionaries in this field.
Such potential treatment may lead to his injury problems being solved, however, this is purely speculation. How he is greeted by the fans could lead to an uplift in his confidence, which could in turn help his performances.