Colorado Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis, who has been battling cancer, will start against Braves at Coors Field.
Chad Bettis, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer late last year, will make his 2017 debut when he starts for the Rockies on Monday against the Braves at Coors Field.
Bettis, 27, underwent surgery to remove a testicle on Nov. 29, but he was still optimistic he would be able to return for the start of the season.
He suffered a setback a month before the season began, when he found out the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes and he would need to undergo chemotherapy. He began treatments in March.
Despite his diagnosis, Bettis remained in good spirits and visited teammates often throughout the season.
“Chad Bettis is a special person,” Rockies All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon said. “He had an incredible attitude throughout the whole process. He’s been a joy to be around during the whole process, which is the opposite of what you might think.”
After missing the 2012 season with a shoulder injury, Bettis made his major league debut late in 2013. He struggled both as a starter and, the following season, as a reliever, before the Rockies loved him back to a starting role at the end of 2014.
After a brief stint in the minors, Bettis went 8-6 with a 4.23 ERA in 20 starts in 2015.
Bettis finished 2016 with a 14-8 record and a 4.79 ERA. He had a team-high 32 starts and 186 innings, and was second with 138 strikeouts (to Jon Gray’s 185).
Bettis went 0-3 with a 4.24 ERA over 23 1/3 innings in six rehab appearances (five starts) with Double-A Hartford and Triple-A Albuquerque this season.
“There was a critical eye on him really the last couple starts,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “Our evaluators in the Minor Leagues felt that he was ready from a delivery standpoint, a strength standpoint, a stuff standpoint. All the factors that determine if a guy’s ready to pitch in the Major Leagues, and he checked off all those boxes.”
Atlanta will send righty Julio Teheran (7-10) to the mound opposite Bettis for the 6:40 p.m. Mountain Time start.