Chad Bettis has had an up-and-down ride thus far in his young Major League career. One day he would look really good on the mound, the next day, not so much. According to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, Colorado held Bettis back to work on his mechanics prior to Spring Training.
"the Rockies delayed his Cactus League debut so he could work on mechanics. Even though Thursday was his third Cactus League appearance, the rebuilding of his pitching motion continues."
Bettis was originally slated to be a starter, then converted to the bullpen in hopes to still utilize the hard-throwing righty after some tough times. The bullpen didn’t really work out for him last year, collecting an ERA of 9.12 in 21 appearances. Over 24.2 innings pitched, Bettis allowed 42 hits, 26 runs-25 earned, four home runs, walking 10 and striking out 13. Thus entered the nickname, #BadChettis, which some Rockies fans might recall.
However, this Spring Training has featured #GoodChettis. Whatever they have done with Bettis’ mechanics, it’s working for now anyways. Prior to Thursday night’s game against the Texas Rangers, Bettis pitched five scoreless innings, including two walks and three strikeouts. Chad only yielded two hits as well.
Bettis ran into some trouble in the bottom half of the third inning, serving up a two-run home run to Leonys Martin to give the Rangers an early 2-0 lead. It was smooth sailing after that for Bettis, even though he picked up the loss (0-1, 2.00 ERA). Over 4.0 innings, Bettis finished the night giving up just three hits, two runs-two earned, walking none and striking out four.
Here’s more from Thomas Harding on Bettis’ mechanics.
"Earlier this week, Bettis worked with pitching coach Steve Foster and special instructor Pedro Astacio on honing his follow-through. In one drill he would begin at the end of his stride, then make his throw. In another he would balance at the top of his windup, then Foster would flip the ball into his throwing hand. Bettis would catch and continue with his motion."
Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come for the 25-year-old. After all, you can never have enough arms.