Rock­ies con­fi­dent Bet­tis will re­cover from can­cer

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Pa­trick Saun­ders

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.

Un­fin­ished busi­ness.

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.

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