Chad Bettis Emerges

Prior to just a few weeks ago, Chad Bettis was an absolute after thought; he had struggled in previous chances in the bigs, even when pitching in relief, and didn’t seem to be a part of Colorado’s plans. A couple Rockies injuries and some ineffectiveness later, and Bettis has a sub-3.00 ERA in four MLB starts and a near 4/1 K/BB ratio. In order to get a better sense of what Bettis has been doing, I watched his start from last Sunday against the Giants, where he struck out seven in over eight innings of work.

Fastball
Bettis’ average fastball is under 92 MPH this year, but he was sitting 94 and touching 96 against the Giants. His fastball command was mediocre at best, with the extra velocity saving him at times. When Bettis was hitting his spots low in the zone, his fastball was heavy and the Giants couldn’t do anything with it. When going glove-side, Bettis can get a little cut going to try to take hitters out of the zone.

Breaking Ball
Bettis’ primary breaker was a slow curve sitting 73-74. The right-hander was very comfortable throwing it arm-side to either catch the corner against lefties or drop below the zone against righties, but he didn’t seem to want to use it to try and move righties over the outside part of the plate.

He also threw a few sliders early, but didn’t use the pitch at all after the third inning. It didn’t look like anything special, but it would have been nice to have seen more of it against righties.

Changeup
Bettis’ changeup was very nice, and he was comfortable burying it and getting lefties to swing over the top. He also used it a few times against right-handed hitters and had some success. He threw breaking balls twice as often, and based on the talent of his changeup, I’d like to see that come closer to even.

Takeaway
I’m worried that Bettis will have more troubles against righties than he will against lefties, and it’s backed up by his 2013 and 2014 splits. Trying to add some more horizontal movement to his curve or utilizing his slider could neutralize this effect. I’m not to the point of suggesting picking up Bettis in 12-team mixed leagues, but he’s worth grabbing in 14-teamers if he’s still on the wire.

In his next outing, Bettis took a no-no late into the game, but it was against the Phillies and I didn’t think they’d give the best baseline to judge him. Bettis will face the Dodgers on Wednesday in Coors.





Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.

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Brad
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Brad

wow they let zach out of the RotoRiteup box and write something else. Everything ok between you and Professor Pony?

Phils were embarrassed by Betts and someone snagged him in our 14 team league after that. Coors match up vs dodgers will be good test.

Thanks.