Rockies confident Bettis will recover from cancer
The Rockies are confident right-handed pitcher Chad Bettis, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer last month and then underwent surgery, will make a full recovery. And while the club is optimistic Bettis will be ready for the start of spring training and plans for him to be part of its starting rotation, the Rockies are proceeding with some caution.
“You never know with cancer, but as Chad has said, it seems as though the prognosis after his diagnosis is really good,” general manager Jeff Bridich said Tuesday. “Still, in regard to the time frame, we have to be a little fluid with that. But we are just happy that the news has been really positive from the doctors so far. We will figure out the time frame.”
Bettis, 27, had surgery Nov. 29 to have a testicle removed, he told ESPN in a statement late Monday.
“During an appointment in November, my doctor noticed an abnormality and ordered further tests and advanced blood work,” Bettis said in a statement released to ESPN through his agent, Matt Sosnick. “The following Monday, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and had one of my testicles removed the next day.”
Reached by The Denver Post on Tuesday, Bettis said he wants to wait a few more days before discussing the situation further.
“The surgeon is very confident that the cancer was isolated and has not spread and that my ability to have children should not be affected,” Bettis also said in his statement. “The Rockies and the (Major League Baseball Players Association) have been great, and I truly appreciate the care and support shown by Jeff Bridich to both me and my family.
Bettis is 23-19 with a 5.01 ERA over four seasons. He finished 14-8 with a 4.79 ERA in 32 starts last season, striking out 138 and walking 59 in 186 innings.
When Bridich introduced Ian Desmond as the Rockies’ new first baseman Tuesday, he made it a point to say that signing Desmond to a five-year, $70 million contract was just the first step in the club’s offseason.
“There are certainly other priorities for this team, as well,” Bridich said. “We are focused on a lot of different things to try to make this team better. I don’t think our offseason is done yet, our winter isn’t finished.”
Colorado’s other top priority is fixing a broken bullpen.
Bridich is saying little about who the Rockies are targeting but has confirmed the Rockies have looked at left-hander Mike Dunn and right-hander Brad Ziegler, among others.