BETTIS ON PACE TO BEGIN REHAB WORK JULY 10
PHOENIX» Testicular cancer, and the subsequent chemotherapy treatments that followed, could not stop Chad Bettis‘ baseball dreams.
The Rockies’ right-handed starter is making significant progress in his comeback and is on pace to begin making minor-league rehabilitation starts during the all-star break, beginning July 10.
Bettis had said his goal was to be back in the Rockies’ rotation before the break. He didn’t quite meet that goal, but it now appears that he’ll be available to help the Rockies in the second half of the season.
“It’s a really good feeling to watch this unfold,” Rockies manager Bud Black said Sunday. “It’s been in stages over the last couple of months. Now, to see him progress through his side sessions, and all the work with the strengthand-conditioning coaches, and see him clear all of these hurdled, it’s just really, really cool.”
Bettis threw another bullpen session Saturday, and he’s now ready to ramp up his work. According to Black, Bettis is scheduled to throw live batting practice when the Rockies return to Denver this week after their nine-game road trip. If that goes well, Bettis would go out on a rehab assignment.
Bettis underwent surgery Nov. 29 to remove the cancerous cells, and doctors told him Dec. 22 the surgery was a success. At the time, Bettis avoided the need for radiation or chemotherapy, and he resumed a near-regular offseason throwing program.
But during spring training, a checkup revealed that the cancer had spread and that Bettis would need treatment. He left camp March 20.
But, Bettis added, his prognosis for a complete recovery was good, in the 90 percent range.
Bettis, 28, led the Rockies in innings pitched last year with 186, and had a 14-8 record with a 4.79 ERA. In the second half of the season, he went 7-2 with a 3.17 ERA over 14 starts. If he returns this season, he would be the oldest member of a very young rotation that started the season strong but has scuffled over the last two weeks.
Bettis rejoined the Rockies on June 6 and has been working out and traveling with the team since.
Right fielder Carlos Gonzalez, out with a right shoulder strain, expects to come off the disabled list Monday when the Rockies return home to host Cincinnati.
Outfielder Gerardo Parra is expected to undergo an MRI on Monday to see how his injured right quadriceps is healing. He suffered the injury June 6.
The Rockies have missed his offense. He was hitting .318 with six homers and 28 RBIs through 49 games before he was injured trying to steal second base.
If all goes well, Parra could begin a minor-league rehab assignment at Triple-A Albuquerque this week and could rejoin the Rockies on Friday.