Bettis signed a one-year, $3.325 million deal with the Rockies on Friday to avoid arbitration, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. Bettis finished 2018 with a 5.01 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and 80:47 K:BB over 120.1 innings. The 29-year-old worked out of the bullpen and was used as a spot starter after beginning the year in the starting rotation, but seems likely to be utilized more as a reliever in 2019.
Bettis allowed one unearned run on three hits in 2.2 innings Tuesday against the Phillies, striking out one and walking one in a no-decision. Bettis was expected to go only a few innings at most in Tuesday's start, and he threw 33 pitches (22 strikes) before giving way to other relievers. It was the first start for Bettis since Aug. 12, and he now sports a 5.06 ERA and 1.41 WHIP to go with a 78:47 K:BB in 117.1 innings. If starter Tyler Anderson is not able to return to the rotation before season's end, Bettis could see another start, which would be a matchup against the Nationals at home.
Bettis will make a spot start Tuesday against the Phillies, Manager Bud Black had previously suggested that Bettis was the leading candidate to fill the injured Tyler Anderson's (shoulder) rotation spot and later confirmed the right-hander would start after he went unused out of the bullpen in the Rockies' 10-1 series-opening win over the Phillies. The Rockies remain hopeful that Anderson will be able to return to the mound for the team's season-ending series with the Nationals over the weekend, so Tuesday's outing could go down as Bettis' final appearance of the season. Since Bettis hasn't started for the Rockies since Aug. 12 and isn't fully stretched out since transitioning to a bullpen role, Black said the 29-year-old would likely be capped at around 35-to-50 pitches before turning the game over to the relief crew.
Manager Bud Black said Bettis will probably start Tuesday against the Phillies, Kyle Newman of The Denver Post reports. Bettis is the leading candidate to step into the rotation for a spot start after Tyler Anderson (shoulder) was scratched from his scheduled start Monday. The right-hander has worked exclusively out of the bullpen in September, so he likely won't pitch deep enough to factor into the decision. In 19 starts this season, Bettis owns a 5.42 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and 75:44 K:BB.
Bettis was officially moved to the bullpen and will be available during Thursday's game in Atlanta, Nick Groke of The Athletic reports. As expected, Bettis was shifted a relief role with Antonio Senzatela (shoulder) expected to come off the 10-day DL and start Saturday. Bettis tossed 6.1 innings against the Dodgers on Sunday but that won't prohibit the right-hander from being ready to go if he's needed during Thursday's series opener. Through 19 starts with the club this year, he's logged a 5.42 ERA and 1.41 WHIP with 75 strikeouts across 106.1 innings. Bettis hasn't made a relief appearance in the majors since 2014.