SAN DIEGO — With Antonio Senzatela back in the rotation from a heel infection and Tyler Anderson on the mend from left knee inflammation, Chad Bettis has been bumped from the Rockies’ rotation.
The right-hander posted a 8.78 ERA with eight walks in three 2019 starts (13 ⅓ innings) and took the demotion in stride as injury-riddled Colorado looks to find its early-season rhythm in the bullpen.
“I’m prepared for whatever,” Bettis said. “Whether that’s being in the bullpen for a week, or a month, I’m ready. I assume I’m (a long reliever), but there hasn’t been any defined role.”
Manager Bud Black said Bettis won’t need to be a different pitcher out of the bullpen, where he posted a 2.38 ERA in seven appearances (11 ⅓ innings) in 2018 after repeated finger blisters derailed his season as a starter.
“With Chad it’s still about making pitches and changing speeds — it isn’t about velocity,” Black said. “He’s got to move the ball in and out, up and down.”
Bettis has relied heavily on his changeup this year, throwing it over a third of the time, while his fastball has averaged 89.9 mph. Sans the veteran right-hander, Black noted the club will need more consistency from the back end of the rotation in order to make up lost ground from a dismal team start.
In that vein, Tyler Anderson threw in an extended spring training game Monday, and Black said the coaching staff has begun discussing the next stage of the southpaw’s rehabilitation.
“For us to get to where we want to be, it’s going to be a collection of all five guys pitching well,” Black said. “It can’t be so variable in the rotation, because it makes it hard to sustain good winning steaks, or to win 15 out of 20 or 20 out of 30.”
Anderson’s pending return could make Colorado tab right-hander Jeff Hoffman from Triple-A Albuquerque to fill the rotation’s fifth slot in the meantime if Anderson isn’t ready. The next foreseeable vacancy in the rotation comes Monday against the Nationals.
More Rockies injury updates. Black said Ian Desmond was held out of Tuesday’s starting lineup against the Padres due to “general leg soreness,” and Colorado hopes the center fielder will be well rested heading into the team’s seven-game homestand starting Thursday.
Meanwhile, infielder Ryan McMahon (left elbow strain) and outfielder David Dahl (core) both played in extended spring training games Tuesday. They will do the same Wednesday, as their return is imminent; McMahon’s eligible to return from the 10-day injured list as of Tuesday, and Dahl becomes eligible Thursday.
There remains no timetable for the return of first baseman Daniel Murphy (left index finger), who recently found out he won’t have to have surgery to repair his fractured finger.
“He’s still in the process of slowly but surely increasing baseball activity,” Black said.
Colorado is off Wednesday before beginning a seven-game homestand Thursday against the Phillies.
Trending: Entering Tuesday, the Rockies had still yet to score in the first inning this season. The club’s 17 games without plating a run in the opening frame was the longest such streak to begin a season in franchise history.
At issue: Colorado continues to fight the early-season injury bug. After Noel Cuevas exited in the fourth inning of Colorado’s win on Monday because of a strained left quadriceps, the number of Rockies players on the injured list rose to eight, including five opening-day starters.
Upcoming pitching matchups
Thursday: Phillies RHP Zach Eflin (2-1, 8.84 ERA) at Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (1-3, 5.40), 6:40 p.m., ATTRM
Friday: Phillies RHP Vince Velasquez (0-0, 2.25) at Rockies RHP German Marquez (2-1, 2.00), 6:40 p.m., ATTRM
Saturday: Phillies LHP Aaron Nola (1-0, 7.45) at Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (1-0, 1.35), 6:10 p.m., ATTRM
Note from WSOE.Org : This content has been auto-generated from a syndicated feed.