The best news for the Colorado Rockies on Friday came before the game against the San Diego Padres. Chad Bettis, who left the team this spring when he learned that his cancer had spread, is close enough to returning that he will rejoin the team and begin a rehab assignment soon. Nick Groke reported the update.
Bettis says that he’s missed being around the team and is anxious to get back. The timetable for his return still is not clear, as noted by Groke in the article. It’s a long road ahead for his rehab, but the Rockies will be anxious to get Bettis back when he is ready.
The update comes with a quick timetable, as Bettis might be back with the team in the “next couple days,” according to Bud Black. From there it’s a rehab process that starts with basic strength and builds up to baseball activities.
As each step progresses, Bettis continues to inspire in a number of ways. His positive attitude through his bout with cancer is amazing, as noted by Groke and also by Ken Rosenthal in his article about Bettis. There’s also a work ethic here that is almost hard to fathom, as Bettis has remained committed to a throwing program in which he works out immediately after his chemo sessions.
The right-handed starter’s return to the Rockies will have an impact in a number of ways. That starts with the human side of things and being happy for Bettis when he is able to return. From there, it is hard to measure the positive effect he will have on his teammates with his leadership, but that will surely be there.
Less importantly but still notably, if Bettis returns to form he can give a real boost to a young starting rotation that is starting to crack. Black did not mince words and pointed to bad starting pitching after Friday’s defeat made it four losses in the last five games.
The rotation stands to get a boost by getting Bettis and Jon Gray back. That will also take some of the pressure off of the rookie starters who have done a stellar job so far but might struggle to keep things afloat over the course of a long season.
Bettis threw 186 innings in 2016, going 14-8 with a 4.79 ERA.
There is no timetable for his return, but Chad Bettis is working his way back, and that will continue to be the easiest thing to cheer for this season.