Chad Bettis has had a good looking spring, giving up only two runs in his nine innings so far, while striking out seven. That's the good news. The bad news? He had an even better spring training in 2014 (10 innings, one run, 11 strikeouts) which did not carry over to the major leagues. At all. Bettis authored one of the worst relief stints in recent memory last year: 24 innings, 42 hits, 26 runs, and a .378 average against. Reason number eight million why you shouldn't trust spring stats.
That said, there's no reason why Bettis can't bounce back. He's still young at 25, and he was always a solid prospect as he climbed the Rockies system. His arm is lively, and from the little I've seen of him this spring, his change up looks like a really good offering. Perhaps he's more comfortable as a starting pitcher.
Bettis couldn't have been hit harder last year if he had thrown the ball underhand. Regardless, I'm intrigued to see how he performs this year in Triple-A. He could go Matzek on us. Maybe it's recency bias, or maybe it's unreasonable spring optimism, but Bettis could be one of those classic surprises that transforms a fringe team into a contender.
Speaking of guys who got lit up last year and were asked to change roles...
Christian Friedrich is also having a good camp, and his stuff seems to play up as a reliever. Because he's out of options, Friedrich is likely to break camp on the major league team, unless, as Thomas Harding hints in the article, he gets traded. Friedrich is a good hedge against Boone Logan and Rex Brothers not bouncing back. Surely one of those three can be competent this year.
With spring training nearing the finish line, the Rockies roster is still unsettled. The starting rotation, bullpen, and bench players have not been selected yet. Compounding the uncertainty are the nagging injuries to Jorge De La Rosa and utility infielders Daniel Descalso and Charlie Culberson. Weiss says that the roster could be fluid in the first few weeks of the season.
Barnes is trying to parlay his athleticism into better hitting by copying the leg kicks of Matt Holliday and Miguel Cabrera. Despite some thrilling moments (who can forget that game winning inside the park homer?), Barnes was pretty terrible at the plate last year. He hardly ever walked, he struck out over 30% of the time, and he hit for little power. The result was an uninspiring 83 wRC+.
He isn't exactly young anymore, but there's a non-zero chance he turns all those tools into better production; best case scenario he could turn into a Shane Victorino type.
The Rockies don't fare so well in this category. The Fangraphs projections are not enamored with Charlie Blackmon or Drew Stubbs. The two should form a reasonably solid platoon in center this year, but they probably won't set the world on fire (Blackmon's April notwithstanding).