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Chad Bettis was bumped from the rotation but still provided value

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He was still an important pitcher for the Rockies down the stretch in more ways than one.

You’re reading the 2018 edition of Ranking the Rockies, where we take a look back at the season had by every player to play for the Rockies in 2018. The purpose of this list is to provide a snapshot of the player in context. The “Ranking” is an organizing principle that’s drawn from Baseball Reference’s WAR (rWAR). It’s not something the staff debated. We’ll begin with the player with the least amount of rWAR and end up with the player with the most.

★ ★ ★

No. 12, Chad Bettis (0.9 rWAR)

The Rockies drafted Chad Bettis with a second round pick all the way back in 2010. It feels like we’ve been through a lot with Bettis since then, something that was true even before his inspirational fight to overcome cancer and return to the team last year. He means a lot to this franchise and is one of the team’s leaders, something we all expect will continue moving forward.

What his role will be as he helps lead the Rockies is less clear after this past season. Bettis started the season in the rotation and was a steady presence as other guys faltered early on. Unfortunately his results started to slide with some rough showings in May and June, especially a disastrous June in which he had an 8.54 ERA in five starts.

A finger injury forced Bettis to miss time in July. That created an opening for Antonio Senzatela, and the 23-year-old took that rotation spot and didn’t look back. Bettis served as a swing man once he returned, handling spot starts and long relief for the Rockies in the thick of the playoff race.

It turned out that the role suited Bettis fairly well. He was especially good in his six appearances in September and October. It was just another example of the stability and leadership Bettis continues to bring to this franchise. He embraced a new role and ate up valuable innings for the Rockies as they reached the playoffs.

His overall statistics for 2018 tell a lot of different stories. A first glance at his 5.01 ERA doesn’t make a good first impression. And yet, as you already know since you’re reading this, he checks in at no. 12 in this end-of-season series. That probably represents the bursts of good showings he had to bookend the season. The rest of his numbers come in around where you might expect, such as his 94 OPS+, 6.0 K/9 and 1.40 WHIP.

We already know who Chad Bettis is. That’s true when it comes to his admittedly average stats, but it’s also true when it comes to far more important things that go beyond numbers. We know who he is as a man and as a leader for the Rockies. That will always make him an important member of the team and a fan favorite, regardless of where he ranks on an end-of-season rWAR list.