It never hurts to have six dependable starters, especially down the stretch of a divisional title chase that’s still wide open.
And with Antonio Senzatela placed on the disabled list Sunday because of a sore shoulder, the depth and legitimacy of the Rockies’ rotation is again set to keep things running smoothly, as Chad Bettis is slated to start Tuesday night against the Pirates, making his first appearance since being sidelined by a finger blister July 3.
“When he joined us on the road trip, I could tell from the way he and I spoke that he felt confident in where he was as far as his finger, and even as far as how he threw the ball with his pitch mix and how the ball was coming out of his hand,” manager Bud Black said.
Bettis tossed 95 pitches in six innings of work in his third and final rehab start for Triple-A Albuquerque on Aug. 2, when the right-hander allowed four earned runs but said he felt no discomfort where the blister once was.
Bettis, 29, will return to Coors Field with an altered fastball grip, one specifically designed by the right-hander and the Colorado pitching coaches to alleviate pressure on the middle throwing finger, where the blister was problematic.
“There’s some things we switched up on the grip after looking on the slow-motion camera,” Bettis said. “That was the main concern — with me being fastball heavy, just to make sure nothing came up again, and the new grip hasn’t affected anything (negatively).”
Bettis will start against the Pirates’ Jameson Taillon who, like Bettis, is also a survivor of testicular cancer and dealt with a minor digit issue (a laceration on his middle finger) this season — topics about which the two right-handers have exchanged information and support.
Meanwhile, Black noted Senzatela’s progress has trainer Keith Dugger feeling confident about the 23-year-old’s impending return.
“He’s probably going to play catch here in a day or two, but early reports are that he feels good and that a lot of the initial soreness he felt over the weekend in Milwaukee has sort of gone away,” Black said of Senzatela.
As for beyond Bettis’ Tuesday start, and for when Senzatela does return, the staff’s senior starter said he has no qualms about a potential bullpen role — something Black has said is a possibility.
“If would be a little bit different, if that’s what happens, but I think I’m better suited for it now than I was four years ago,” Bettis said, referencing his 21 relief appearances in 2014. “Hopefully I can take some of those trials and errors from that season and be a little bit better for it.”
Oh, steady from go
Since being traded from Toronto on July 26, Seunghwan Oh has quickly become a much-needed third stabilizer out of the Rockies’ bullpen alongside Adam Ottavino and Wade Davis. And Oh’s contributions have been even more critical considering the recent struggles of Davis, who …read more
Source:: The Denver Post – Sports