Rockies Chad Bettis to make first start since cancer diagnosis

24 September 2016: Colorado Rockies Starting pitcher Chad Bettis (35) [8302] during a Major League Baseball game between the Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire)
Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire

Colorado Rockies right-handed pitcher Chad Bettis will make his first start on Monday since being diagnosed with testicular cancer back in December 2016, according to the Rockies’ official Twitter account.

In March 2017, Bettis revealed the cancer had spread and that he would have to undergo chemotherapy.

Now, the 28-year-old is cancer-free and ready to resume his MLB career.

Bettis, who played his college baseball at Texas Tech University, was originally selected by the Houston Astros in the eighth round of the 2007 MLB June Amateur Draft. However, he failed to sign, and three years later, the Rockies chose him in the second round of the draft.

He made his major-league debut in 2013, pitching in 16 games and making eight starts. Over those outings, Bettis went 1-3 with a 5.64 ERA, allowing 55 hits while issuing 20 walks in 44.2 innings of work, resulting in an alarming WHIP of 1.679. He struck out 30 batters.

The following season, Bettis pitched exclusively out of Colorado’s bullpen, going 0-2 with a 9.21 ERA across 21 relief appearances. In 24.2 frames of action, he surrendered 42 hits and ended up with a ridiculously high WHIP of 2.108.

Then, in 2015, Bettis returned to the starting rotation. Over 20 starts, the Lubbock, Texas, native registered a record of 8-6 and pitched to the tune of a 4.23 ERA, giving up 120 hits while fanning 98 hitters across 115 innings. His peripherals were solid, as Bettis tallied a 3.85 FIP.

Last season, he started 32 games and went 14-8 with a 4.79 ERA, coughing up 204 hits and 22 home runs in 186 frames. He accumulated 138 strikeouts.

The Rockies entered play on Sunday with a record of 65-51 and currently hold the first Wild Card spot in the National League.

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