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Tyler Chatwood quietly throwing strikes, pitching scoreless innings for Cubs

A determined Tyler Chatwood pitches another three scoreless innings against the Royals Wednesday. (John Antonoff photo)

MESA, Ariz. — Flying mostly under the radar, right-hander Tyler Chatwood quietly has put together eight innings across three outings and has allowed only one walk this spring.

Chatwood, whose franchise record of more than eight walks per nine innings last season cost him his job in the rotation, walked the third batter he faced this spring but has faced 22 since without one.

‘‘He’s been really outstanding,’’ manager Joe Maddon said. ‘‘Great command of his pitches, strike-throwing with movement and good velocity, too — like, 94, 95, 96 [mph] sometimes. And throwing some curveballs for strikes.’’

Chatwood pitched the last three innings of a victory Wednesday against the Royals, allowing three hits and striking out one in the scoreless outing. In fact, the only runs Chatwood has allowed came on a two-run home run by the Giants’ Brandon Belt, the fourth batter he faced this spring.


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‘‘That’s the guy we signed,’’ said teammate Carl Edwards Jr., who is predicting big things for Chatwood now that he has gotten his first season in the Cubs’ fishbowl behind him. ‘‘I tell people all the time it’s not easy to pitch in Chicago. I’m excited for him. I tell him that every day.’’

Chatwood is expected to start Tuesday against the Reds.

‘‘And people haven’t really talked about his defense,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘He really moves well on the mound. That little chopper he picked up and flipped to first base [Wednesday] and the way he covers first base, I’ve been a big fan of him defensively, too. He’s very good.’’

It almost sounds like a sales pitch to 29 teams, especially because the Cubs have no place in their rotation for Chatwood if everyone else is healthy.

‘‘My job’s just to pitch; I can’t control what they do,’’ Chatwood said last weekend. ‘‘I feel like I’m a starter. I know we have a lot of great starters here, so my job is just to go out there and pitch and make them make a tough decision.’’