Jhoulys is pronounced Joo-lees.
In 2007, his first year in the U.S., Chacin shared the Pioneer League strikeout lead (77 in 92 innings) with Orem's Robert Fish and Great Falls' Juan Moreno.
In 2008, Chacin led the entire minor leagues in wins (18), ranked third in innings pitched, and was sixth in ERA and strikeouts.
In the spring of 2009, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Jhoulys as the second best prospect in the Rockies' organization, behind only OF Dexter Fowler. In the winter before the 2010 spring camps opened, they had Chacin as the fourth best prospect in the Rockies' farm system.
On August 18, 2009, Chacin pitched the first 5 1/3 innings of a 9-inning no-hitter for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, with Joel Peralta, Juan Rincon, and Randy Flores pitching the rest of the game.
- The Rockies have had to modify Jhoulys's training program to keep his body as that of a pitcher, rather than a linebacker.
"He's a mature bodied kid, unlike Ubaldo or Esmil Rogers or Sammy Deduno, who have lankier frames," Rockies player development director Marc Gustafson said. "If he came in and did squats, he could probably lift a lot of weight. For him, we have to do a lot of footwork and agility work, even if it's jump rope—the old-school way."
Chacin spent the winter before 2011 spring training in Tucson, Arizona, with his girlfriend, Alba Iratorza. The couple welcomed their first child, Nicole, on December 1, 2010.
During the offseason before 2013 spring training, Jhoulys realized he needed to change his preparation. Gone were the heavy lifting exercises that increased the mass of Chacin's chest, but created the impediments to his shoulder and arm. Chacin learned to properly improve the smaller muscles in his shoulder area and converted his leg routine to one that improved endurance.
Chacin pitched once for Venezuela in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He pitched better than the result—five hits and four runs in 3 1/3 innings of a loss to the Dominican Republic. More important, he had a chance to work with former Major League pitcher Wilson Alvarez, the Venezuelan pitching coach. Alvarez noticed a flaw in Chacin's fastball and invited him to work with him this offseason, and they furthered their work during the Classic.
"I appreciate what he did for me," Chacin said. "He didn't have to do it, but he's from Maracaibo (as is Chacin) and he likes to help people."
Jhoulys and former Astros pitcher Gustavo Chacín are second cousins.
January 2017: Chacin committed to play for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.
It started with teammates in Colorado occasionally calling him "Chacin the Machine." "Albert Pujols is 'The Machine,'" Jhoulys said.
So the right-hander came up with a creative solution -- one he'll wear again this year when the Brewers' steadiest starting pitcher takes the mound against the Pirates at Miller Park. Chacin took the Spanish word for machine -- La Máquina -- and made it more pitcher-friendly with the addition of a K.
That's why you'll see "LA MAKINA" across his back during the game. "I never really had a nickname in baseball," Chacin said. "Maybe when I was a kid, they called me something. But I don't remember. I like the nicknames. … You get to know better about your teammates. It's something I really like, and I know all the guys here like.
"I hope they keep doing it." (McCalvy - mlb.com - 8/23/18)
Brewers' Jhoulys Chacin's major-league odyssey a reminder that baseball takes time (2018)
After spending three years trying to rebuild his career, Jhoulys Chacín emerged as a major factor in one of the Milwaukee Brewers' best seasons ever.
The right-hander not only helped the Brewers collect 96 victories, tying a team record, to secure the National League Central Division. Chacín also won 15 games and amassed 156 strikeouts, both team highs and personal bests.
"Jhoulys has been as much as we could ever hope for when we signed him this winter," manager Craig Counsell said. "He's taken the ball every fifth day and delivered good results. He's just been a very stabilizing presence for us. During the course of 162 games, you need that consistency, that durability. On top of that, he's just pitched wonderfully, especially in some really big games. He's just been an anchor to our pitching staff."
Yet as recently as four years ago, Chacín was struggling to stay in the major leagues.
In 2013, the Venezuelan right-hander achieved his best season to that point: a 14-10 record with a team-high 126 strikeouts for the Rockies. But during spring training in 2014, Chacín strained his right shoulder. He spent five weeks on the disabled list from March 28 to May 3, then lost seven of eight decisions before returning June 30 to the disabled list — where he spent the rest of the season.
When the Rockies released Chacín on March 28, 2015, his odyssey began. He signed with the Cleveland Indians three weeks later, who sent him to their Triple-A club in Columbus, Ohio. Chacín lost three of four minor-league decisions and the Indians released him June 18. Two days later, the Arizona Diamondbacks signed Chacín but he spent most of his time with the Triple-A team in Reno, Nev. The right-hander made just five appearances for Arizona, four of them starts, before becoming a free agent.
Despite the setbacks, Chacín remained determined.
"I never lost confidence in myself," he said. "I always said that if I get back to being healthy, I know I can pitch better."
The Atlanta Braves took a chance and signed Chacín in February 2016. After one minor-league start, the Braves recalled Chacín, who pitched in five games before being traded May 11 to the Los Angeles Angels for Adam McCreery. With the Angels, Chacín made more starts (17), appeared in more games (29) and threw more innings (117 1/3) than he had since 2013 while compiling a 5-6 record.
In his best performance, Chacín pitched his first complete game in five years. The right-hander accumulated 10 strikeouts while conceding only one walk and four hits in a 5-1 victory over Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers.
The turning point came when Chacín signed a one-year contract in December 2016 to become part of the the San Diego Padres' patchwork rotation. The Padres encouraged Chacín to use his slider more often. Chacín called 2016 "the year I finally got back to normal."
"Over my career, I threw it more against lefties than righties," he said. "Last year with San Diego, they made me throw the backdoor slider more, then mix it up with a back-foot slider. Then on my own, I started doing different stuff with my slider. I tried to make it slower. Sometimes, I tried to make it look like a curveball.
Sometimes, I'd change my arm angle with the slider. For me, it's the same pitch but it looks different to the hitters."
As a result, Chacín became one of only two of the Padres' starters to end the season with a winning record while leading San Diego with 14 victories and 153 strikeouts. That performance piqued the Brewers' interest.
"He was a player that I know some members of our front office have liked for a long time and followed closely for a long time,"Counsell said. "We were excited to get him."
The feeling was mutual.
"When free agency started, they called me up," Chacín said. "Milwaukee was the first team that called my agent. It made it easier for me. Milwaukee was my first priority."
Chacín negotiated a two-year contract because he noticed how special the Brewers could be when he pitched for the Padres.
"Last year, when we played against them, you could tell the chemistry they have, how they were having fun," he said. "They were winning, too. They fell one game short of making the playoffs. It's a young team. It's a good team. They're playing well. It's something you think about."
Joining the Brewers enabled Chacín to expand his repertoire.
"This year, I'm also throwing more change-ups, too, which is something that has helped me with my slider and my two-seamer," he said. "Every time I threw my four-seamer, that's when I took the hitter by surprise. That's one of the keys."
For Counsell, seeing Chacín pitch means savoring an aesthetic experience.
"It's a thrill for me to watch competitors, and Jhoulys is a true competitor," Counsell said. "He's out on the mound thinking of ways to beat you. He's got a number of different tricks in his bag, so to speak, that he goes to. I enjoy that. It's gamesmanship. It's competitiveness. It's creativity on the mound. That's a cool way to watch baseball. It's a cool way to pitch. It really is."
Left-hander Wade Miley expressed his appreciation more succinctly.
"We get to watch him go out there and pitch, which is something we're losing track of in this game," Miley said. "He pitches with everything he has and give us quality innings pretty much every time out."
With his own career stabilized, Chacín can afford to provide stability to others.
"He's just a leader," Miley said. "He takes guys under his wing. He's always looking to help people. When it's his turn to pitch, he's pretty serious about what he's got to do. But on the four other days, he spends a lot of time caring about the other guys."
With the Brewers three wins away from the World Series, Chacín enjoys the opportunity to fulfill a cherished goal.
"I always watch every postseason game on TV," he said. "You can see all the pressure, the adrenaline. Even when you're watching the TV, you can feel it. I always wanted to feel that, personally.
"Finally, I have a chance to make that happen. I can't ask for a better year than this." ( Joseph D'Hippolito - Sporting News - Oct. 2018 )
2006: Chacin signed with the Rockies at age 16. Francisco Cartaya is the scout who signed him.
January 26, 2013: Chacin and the Rockies agreed on a two-year, $6.5 million contract.
January 15, 2015: Chacin signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Rockies.
March 22, 2015: Chacin was unconditionally released by the Rockies.
After going 1-7 with a 5.40 ERA in 2014, Chacin had a 6.52 ERA in four appearances in Cactus League games, two starts. He walked four and struck out five in 9 2/3 innings.
"It's a tough day," manager Walt Weiss said. "A tough day for us, for me having to have that conversation with Jhoulys, who has been a warrior for us."
The reason for the move, Weiss said, was that the club had brought in a number of starting candidates and, "We just felt like Jhoulys was behind a few of the other guys."
April 14, 2015: The Indians signed pitcher Chacin to a Minor League contract.
June 18, 2015: Jhoulys obtained his release from the Indians organization.
June 20, 2015: Chacin signed with the D'Backs organization.
January 7, 2016: The Braves signed free agent Chacin.
May 11, 2016: The Braves traded Chacin to the Angels for LHP Adam McCreery.
Nov 3, 2016: Chacin chose free agency.
Dec 20, 2016: The Padres signed free agent Chacin.
Nov 2, 2017: Chacin elected free agency.
- Dec. 20, 2017: The Brewers signed Chacin to a 2-year deal.