Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Chad Bettis pitched his first full big league season in 2016, and acquitted himself quite well in the process.
Bettis was a mainstay in the Rockies rotation, leading the club with 32 starts and 186 innings pitched, both career highs for him as well.
“I think to stay healthy was one of my main goals this year,” Bettis said prior to the Rockies’ 2016 finale against Milwaukee. “And I accomplished that. Going forward, I need to keep going and making sure I’m taking sure I’m taking care of my body the best I can.”
In those 186 innings, Bettis posted a 4.79 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, to go with a 4.27 FIP and 138 strikeouts.
“I think for me I would say it was average,” Bettis said. “I think that there were flashes of being really good, but for my standards over the course of the whole year I would say it was average.”
To be fair to Bettis, his ERA+ was 102, or slightly above average.
Most of the flashes of being really good came in the second half of Bettis’ season, in which he posted a 3.75 ERA in 84 innings. His best outing of the year came on September 5, when he needed just 103 pitches to complete a two-hit shutout of the Giants at Coors Field. That performance was one of 14 wins for Bettis in 2016, tops among Rockies pitchers.
“The 14 wins was awesome, it was a big accomplishment,” Bettis said. “My whole game plan is just to go out there and give my team a chance to win, and if we win, it’s great, whether I get the win or not it doesn’t matter.”
Bettis credited better command of his off-speed pitches for his strong second half, something he hopes to carry into next season.
“There were times this second half where that came to light, but my goal is to make sure I can do that over the course of a year,” Bettis said.
There were, however, bumps in the road in 2016 for Bettis, as there would be with any starter with an ERA approaching 5.00. The biggest of those came in May in which Bettis allowed 13 earned runs in 8 1⁄3 innings in back-to-back starts against the Reds and Red Sox.
“I think be a little more consistent in starts in general,” Bettis said. “Not have a blow up game where I don’t go 5 or 6 innings, I think that’s one of my main goals next year is to make sure something like that doesn’t happen.”
Along with fellow right-hander Tyler Chatwood, Bettis is penciled into the middle of the Rockies rotation entering 2017. He said that he is mostly looking to stay healthy and for more consistency in his performance going forward into next season.
“There are things that I can do better and things that I can be a little more consistent with,” Bettis said. “There was a little bit (of that) in the second half, but I need to hold that over the course of a whole year.”
As for the team as a whole, Bettis said he expects big things from the Rockies in 2017.
“I see us going to the playoffs, honestly,” Bettis said. “I think those are our expectations, I think we have all the right, key pieces and it’s going to be an exciting year next year.”