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Can Colorado Rockies starter Chad Bettis pitch like an ace in 2016?

With Jorge De La Rosa's career in Denver coming to an end sometime soon, it's the perfect time for Chad Bettis to step up and carry the torch.

Can Chad Bettis be an ace in 2016?
Can Chad Bettis be an ace in 2016?
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Chad Bettis needs to pitch like an ace for 2016 Rockies — The Denver Post

Every team in the NL West has an ace on their pitching staff, but that term must be used loosely when looking at the Rockies, as their "ace" is a 35-year-old with a career 4.55 ERA. I’m not in any way trying to throw shade at Jorge De La Rosa, as he’s done what the vast majority of pitchers in Denver can’t do, and that’s provide quality outings year after year. But if the club has any desire to succeed in the near future, the team desperately needs someone to step up and take the torch from De La Rosa, who's possibly in his final year with the Rockies. Patrick Saunders believes Chad Bettis can be that guy.

Bettis altered his delivery a bit during last year’s spring training, and it led to a drastic improvement as a starting pitcher, where he finished the 2015 campaign with an 8-6 record and a 4.23 ERA. He had a few shaky outings, but the way he closed the season gives us reason to believe 2016 could be a breakout year. In his final seven starts, Bettis compiled a record of 3-2 with an ERA of 2.97. Those are ace-like numbers.

Ranking MLB’s top 10 defensive outfielders - Sports On Earth

No current Rockies players reside on this list, but a possible future Rockie player does. Gerardo Parra, who the Rockies are reportedly aggressively pursuing, landed on this list. Using advanced metrics such as DRS, UZR, and ARM, Parra landed on the list in the number four spot, behind Alex Gordon, Juan Lagares, and Jason Heyward. In the article, Paul Casella provided his thoughts on Parra:

"Parra had a breakout season defensively in 2013 before dropping off considerably in the two seasons since. After saving a league-best 41 runs for the D-backs in '13, Parra has actually cost his teams runs in each of the last two seasons. He finished with -1 DRS in '14, then watched that number dip all the way to -10 this past season. Considering Parra had saved only 35 runs in his first four seasons combined before his '13 breakout, it's looking more and more unlikely that Parra will return to that level."

Who is the NL West favorite in 2016? -

Yeah, obviously the Rockies aren’t going to be considered the "favorite" of the NL West any time soon, but there should at least be some sort of honorable mentions section or something, right? Wrong. The Giants, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks are the clear frontrunners, as the Rockies and Padres are both awkwardly trying to figure out a clear plan. The Rockies are mentioned positively once in the article, though, as AJ Cassavell notes that of the five teams, the Rockies "truly own the division’s best outfield."

You hear that, Bridich? Get to tradin’!