The Colorado Rockies are about to get an enormous boost—both in spirit and in talent—right-handed pitcher Chad Bettis will make his return to the big league rubber on Monday.
According to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post the 28-year-old from Lubbock, TX will pitch in Denver for the Rockies against Julio Teheran and the Atlanta Braves.
Bettis fought and beat testicular cancer which he was diagnosed with in November. Yet the cancer returned while he was in Spring Training, putting his pitching and life on pause.
The Rockies starting pitcher quietly led the Colorado staff last season in wins and innings pitched. He was without question the main workhorse of the 2016 season and proving consistency to a wild year. He also has a tendency to pitch deep into games.
This 2016 season came after a pleasant 2015 where he successfully converted from a reliever back to a starter. In his career, he has a 4.62 ERA in 338.2 IP with a 22-17 record. In his last two seasons alone he’s tallied a 4.3 rWAR.
Bettis has appeared in six games while rehabbing in the minors the last few weeks after fighting off cancer earlier in the season. He has a 4.24 ERA in 23.1 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.
“I think your perspective changes vastly. It doesn’t become about your job anymore, it becomes about your life,” Bettis said about his battle in June. “My perspective has changed, and I’ve grown to appreciate baseball even moreso, but it’s all secondary. What’s first is my family and that’s what got me through this for sure.”
No doubt this is one of the best stories of the Rockies season and from a personal angle the best.
Dude gets cancer. Dude battles cancer. Dude beats cancer. Dude makes it back to a big league mound.
It’s not often where we journalists can root for someone but man we have been together for Bettis this whole time and I’m sure all of baseball will hope he continues to succeed. As my partner on BSN Denver Drew Creasman said, ‘he’s one of the good guys.’