Jesse Chavez was a big part of the Oakland Athletics' pitching staff in 2014, though he tired down the stretch.
That's a big reason why Chavez's eight-inning, 116-pitch outing on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers was such a big development for him.
In August of 2014, Chavez wore down. Fatigue crept in and left its mark on the right-hander, who was nearing career-highs in innings and workload as a member of the starting rotation.
On Wednesday, Chavez's stamina and persistence were on full display as he baffled the Dodgers' hitters for much of the afternoon.
As MLB.com's Jane Lee pointed out, Chavez focused in the offseason on bulking up and adding weight to his wiry frame in hopes of increasing his stamina for the rigors of an MLB season.
So far, it's worked - and Chavez told Lee he's still focusing on the task at hand: "The work that I put in will lead to results, and that's what I want to show, that I'm still working to get through this season, and a full season at that. I want to build off this."
His manager, Bob Melvin, can see his effort coming through. Melvin's decision to leave Chavez out for the eighth inning as he reached a new career-high pitch total showed that the right-hander's work is being noticed by the club.
Said Melvin to Lee, "He really wants to get in a good, full season where he doesn't wear down. He's very aware of what's happened in the past, certainly last year, so he's doing everything he can to combat that."
With a month and a half (or so) left on the season, Chavez's hard work seems to be paying off.
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