We continue our look at the top 100 Colorado Rockies of all time in this article. Here, we look at No. 76 on our list, Chad Bettis.
Chad Bettis is one of the best Colorado Rockies because of his perseverance. Whether that’s being demoted to the minors, dealing with injuries, or his recent bout with cancer. His numbers don’t hurt either.
Look for Bettis to be the fifth starter in this Rockies rotation after he gave a solid performance in 2016.
It didn’t start easy for Bettis as he missed the entire 2012 season due to a shoulder injury. He was considered a high prospect in the Rockies organization. He made his debut in 2013 pitching in only 16 games starting eight of them.
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In 2014 he was demoted to Triple-A three times. The problem for Bettis was that the team was trying to decide whether he was a starter or reliever.
By the time of his third demotion, Bettis knew he wanted to be a starter. He talked to management and he convinced them. That conversation paid of as he is coming off a 14-win year.
“It was tough being a reliever, because mentally I was ready, but understanding how to be a reliever, physically, I wasn’t prepared for that,” Bettis said in a interview in September 2016. “It was difficult to understand how many pitches I needed to throw being in the middle of the game. I still, at that time, had four pitches that I wasn’t willing to give up. I almost felt like I had too many options sometimes. I’d get caught up in which pitch I should throw.”
Bettis pitched every game as a starter in 2015 and it paid off as he earned his highest WAR at 2.6 going 8-6 with a 4.23 ERA. He pitched 186 innings in 2016 earning a career high 14 wins. His ERA was up at 4.79 but earned a respectable 1.7 WAR.
The right-hander faced his toughest battle this offseason fighting testicular cancer. Thankfully after surgery he is expected to make a full recovery.
Chad Bettis is one of the most forthcoming and easiest people to talk in the locker room. He has faced almost every adversity imaginable to get where he is today. If he shows even a sliver of the resolve he has to start his career, there are many more special things to come for Chad Bettis.
Check out the previous story in this list about number 77 Miguel Olivo.