Bettis committed to Texas Tech in 2007, his senior year at Monterey High School in Lubbock, Texas.
In 2007, Chad passed up the Astros' offer after they chose him in the 8th round.
In the summer of 2008, Bettis pitched for Falmouth on the Cape Cod League.
In the spring of 2011, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Bettis as the 9th-best prospect in the Rockies organization. They moved him up to #3 in the winter before 2012 spring training. He was at #5 in the offseasons before both the 2013 and the 2014 spring camps opened.
In 2011, Bettis won the Cal League's Pitcher of the Year award and paced the circuit in innings (170), strikeouts (184), WHIP (1.10), and opponents' average (.225). He ranked second in wins (12) and ERA (3.39).
Chad is a good kid who works out and prepares himself physically and mentally.
Aug 5, 2016: Although he came into 2016 with a little over a year of experience, Rockies starter Chad Bettis has been seen as a leader. Along with pitching coach Steve Foster, Bettis came up with a scoring system to rate each starter's performance based on statistics the pitcher can control, such as walks, strikeouts and first-pitch strikes. The team has kept up with the competition and has the results posted on the clubhouse bulletin board.
"I envision our staff and how we approach games as ever-evolving and to understand how to learn from whether you had a good start or a bad one," Bettis said. "I think you have to hold each other accountable in that sense of how can you be a better pitcher and how can you help our team out more."
Bettis isn't the clubhouse leader in his competition; after three strong starts to begin the season, his ERA ballooned up to 5.65 to end the first half. However, he has weathered the storm and remained a leader, because it is in his personality.
As part of his leadership, Bettis likes to connect to as many other pitchers as possible. Although he is the second-oldest starter on the staff at 27 years old, he makes sure to learn from everybody, from 13-year veteran Jorge De La Rosa to rookies Tyler Anderson and Jon Gray. Those conversations have helped turn his season around. Bettis has thrown quality starts in his last five outings with an impressive 3.09 ERA and a .222 batting average against during that stretch.
"It's definitely a struggle, especially when you're not performing the way everybody expects you to," Bettis said. "You lose some sleep at night, but you have guys that will also step up for you. There are times when I was struggling there and Chatty [Tyler Chatwood] stepped up for me, Gray stepped up." (B Weinrib - MLB.com - Aug 5, 2016)
December 12, 2016: Bettis revealed that he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in November 2016 and underwent surgery soon after to have one of his testicles removed. Bettis, 27, said he expected to be fully recovered in time to report to 2017 Spring Training and remain a part of Colorado's starting rotation.
February 2017: Spring training feels fresh for every Rockies player after a long offseason. But, that feeling of renewed hope hits pitcher Chad Bettis harder than any better ever could on the diamond. That's especially true when you consider that just a few months ago, the 27-year-old was given a shocking diagnosis.
"The doctor told me I had testicular cancer," Bettis said. "But, the only word I heard was cancer. It was really scary," Bettis said. "It was something I would have never guessed would happen in a million years."
Bettis found a lump during a self-examination. Two weeks later, he had surgery to remove it.
"I'm a pretty firm believer that playing baseball prepares you for life," Bettis said. "But, baseball had not prepared me for this at all." Still, the operation gave him some relief. "Being able to set my mind free, knowing that the cancer was out of my body was huge," Bettis said.
In his treatment, Bettis decided against chemotherapy and radiation. Instead, he goes through regular checkups with blood work and CT scans. Through all of that, he says he is cancer-free, and feeling 100 percent as the Rockies start game action in Arizona. Family helped him in his battle, but really, the pitcher points to his faith as the biggest thing that pushed him through it all. Specifically, he kept thinking of Romans 8:18, which reads: "Yet, what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later."
"It seemed like the verse was really meant for me," Bettis said. Still in the early stages of his career, the right-hander could have had his time in baseball cut well short. Instead, Bettis gets another season walking to the mound. A year after leading the Rockies in wins, and with cancer behind him, 2017 is almost guaranteed to be even better.
"I'd say it was a blessing because we're actually having a baby girl coming soon here on March 29," Bettis said.
Chad says he's still getting used to the idea that he is a cancer survivor, and that he is approaching each day differently. Fatherhood will probably have a similar effect, but will be a far more welcomed adjustment, considering what he's been through. (Feb., 25, 2017 - KUSA)
March 10, 2017: Rockies right-handed pitcher Chad Bettis announced that his testicular cancer had unexpectedly spread, and he will soon begin chemotherapy. The club announced that he'll undergo treatments in Arizona over the next several weeks. Bettis, who was scheduled to pitch against the Reds at Goodyear, Ariz., announced the diagnosis in a tweet.
Here is an update on my current health situation. My family and I thank you for your continued support.Bettis, manager Bud Black and head athletic trainer Keith Dugger addressed the media on the situation. The right-hander said he was hopeful that he'd pitch this season if his treatment goes smoothly, but there isn't a timeline for his return.
"The biopsy was taken, and then we were just kind of waiting for the results to come back this week, and then had a meeting with our oncologist," Bettis explained. "So that's when we kind of found out everything and that's when we started drawing up a plan." Bettis, 27, was caught by surprise by the latest diagnosis, because the results of his blood tests had been promising since he underwent surgery on Nov. 29.
"The bloodwork has been good since after my testes had been removed," Bettis said. "That was kind of the weird thing about it. That's a little bit unusual. But [the testing] was something that we felt needed to be done. We wanted to know what was causing the growth in the lymph nodes. So we felt we were able to reach one and biopsy it. So we just went ahead and did that.
"It's unfortunate. It sucks, honestly. But it was something at the point in time, initially going through everything, that we [knew we] might have to go through this anyway. So the mindset was kind of always there, that I might have to go through a round of chemo initially. ... It was something that was already in my head initially, [but] knowing that I have to go through it and it puts me at a really high cure rate is much better for me."
Bettis was optimistic about his prognosis for recovery, and he said his cure rate was in the "90-plus-percent" range. "Knowing that we caught it early and that the blood tumor markers [are] still non-detectable and normal, it's huge," Bettis said. "So we caught this early, and it's a big thing."
For now, baseball is on the back burner, but returning to the mound will never be far from Bettis' mind during his treatment."I've got to get this beat and get it out of me, but it's also what's still driving me -- to get back out there optimistically this year," Bettis said. "We'll see how everything goes and go from there." (T Harding - MLB.com - March 10, 2017)
April 4, 2017: Chad announced on social media that he and his wife, Kristina, welcomed their first child, a daughter named Everliegh Rae (7 pounds, 14 ounces), on March 31, 2017. The Instagram update, accompanied by a family picture, read: "Life is beautiful with these ladies! Love my girls! Week 3 in the books! Let's keep pushing forward! You are the best @kristinagabrielle."
Chad returned to Coors Field on June 6, 2017, possessing rare perspective. He's a goal-oriented person who actually can appreciate the present.
Bettis, having been cleared to begin preparing to return to action after a bout with testicular cancer, did a little throwing and spent the rest of the day just enjoying being with his teammates. And while he would love to be pitching for the Rockies in a little more than a month, he will exercise patience with this part of his journey.
"I'm a goal-oriented person," Bettis said. "I think that's particularly something to drive to and push to and get to, but at the same time, I want to do this right. I don't want to get back too fast and then end up hurting myself or hurting our team."
Bettis' cancer was diagnosed in November 2016 and he underwent surgery then, as well. After at first believing he was healthy enough to prepare for the season, he learned in March 2017 that he'd have to undergo chemotherapy. But Bettis has completed the scheduled treatments, and now it's a matter of building stamina before preparing to pitch.
"The strength is there," Bettis said. "It's much more the stamina. Going through the chemo, I realize what it can do to your lungs. I've got to get that back. I found myself a little bit short of breath today at the very end of throwing.
"But then again, with cardio, I'd bike about 5 miles and that first day, I was winded. I was gassed down in Arizona. I waited a day, did it again and my body adjusted and felt a lot better. It's something I need to understand where that mark is, don't get crazy and push the envelope, but at the same time get to that point where I'm able to build that lung capacity back."
Bettis is adhering to the advice he was given: not to put himself on a timetable. Besides, he and his wife, Kristina, welcomed their first child, Everleigh Rae, on March 27, and that gave him a purpose beyond returning to the diamond.
"Baseball is secondary," Bettis said. "I think your perspective changes vastly. It doesn't become about our job anymore. It becomes about your life. I think my perspective has changed, but also I have grown to appreciate baseball even more so. I think that's what got me through this for sure." (Harding - mlb.com - 6/6/17)
June 23, 2017: Rockies starter Chad Bettis has had a wide range of emotions in the past year. Bettis has enjoyed the birth of his first child, but between learning of his wife's pregnancy and the birth of their daughter, he was diagnosed with cancer not once, but twice. He first learned of his testicular cancer last November 2016, and he was told it had spread in March 2017.
Bettis rejoined the Rockies and has continued his rehab. He had a chance to see Pirates starter Jameson Taillon recently make his first start since dealing with testicular cancer himself. Bettis discussed his experiences in an interview with MLB.com
MLB.com: What has the last year been like? Bettis: It's been a whirlwind. My perspective has definitely changed, and I think for the better. I think going through everything that I have with my wife and my family -- and bringing a baby girl into this world -- it's been up and down for sure. But it's definitely looking up
MLB.com: And you know your wife is expecting.Bettis: Finding out initially my wife was pregnant, it was already a blessing. But then it became tenfold, because it was like [my daughter] was already helping me before she was even born. We caught the cancer when we went for a regular checkup.
The doctor that we're seeing asked my wife if she had been doing self-exams to make sure nothing was happening. I was thinking, "I've never done a self-exam." The next night, I found the lump. It was like my daughter was already helping me before she was born.
MLB.com: It must have been special for you to be with the Rockies when they were in Pittsburgh and Taillon returned from testicular cancer earlier this month.Bettis: I talked to him about how he was able to handle it, and also calm his emotions down. I asked him what that experience was like. He said, "It is like your debut, but more so, because you feel like you're back. You also know that you overcame something that young men shouldn't have to, and you know, as hard as it is." He said it's nice to be back with his teammates and out on the mound again and getting back to the routine of life.
The stressful thing was in the spring, when they found the cancer had invaded my lymph glands, and we started the chemo, it was March 20, the day I started treatment, and her due date was March 29, but you don't know for sure. And you wonder if you will be there for the birth. You wonder if you are going to be able to hold your baby daughter. You don't think about how much that means until you don't know if you will get that opportunity.
MLB.com: How did they discover the original cancer? Bettis: When you think about it, you think there must be pain, but it wasn't painful. I didn't feel weak. I felt normal. There was just a little bump on my testicle. Nothing else. Trying to figure out what the bump was, we had preliminary blood work and a CT scan. When my blood work came back, it showed a tumor marker. Once I had the surgery, it was never found again in my blood work.
MLB.com: Do you have a timetable for a return? Bettis: We have a timetable that right now is through July 1, when I'll throw 45 pitches in a bullpen, and we'll see what's next. Right now, I feel great. I threw a 20-pitch bullpen [Wednesday], but I felt like I could've easily have thrown 30. My body's recovering, which is nice, and so I think we're just going to stay the course and keep going, hopefully not have any setbacks. (T Ringolsby - MLB.com - June 24, 2017)
On August 14, 2017, Chad returned to the mound for the first time since he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in November 2016. His seven scoreless innings helped the Rockies beat the Braves, 3-0.
For nearly nine months, going a treatment at a time, a chemotherapy round at a time, a pitch at a time worked for Chad in his comeback from testicular cancer -- until he awoke on August 15, 2017, and counted the seconds to his return to the Major League mound.
"It crept in this morning, when I woke up, just thinking about everything that had happened, everything that my family and I had been through," Bettis said. "I was holding back tears until the start."
Bettis would channel the emotions enough to unleash an expert mix of pitches and speeds to hold the Braves scoreless for seven innings of the Rockies' 3-0 victory over the Braves at Coors Field.
Bettis' attention to his craft and willingness to help others with theirs made him a leader, even before he was diagnosed and underwent surgery, and went through chemotherapy starting in March 2017 after the disease had spread to his lymph nodes. (Harding - mlb.com - 8/15/17)
Chad's first game back was not only a celebration of Bettis' spirit, but the embodiment of how he made it through -- with much love and help. Bettis spent the day with his wife, Kristina, and 4 1/2-month-old daughter, Everleigh. Being with his family was the only way.
"[Kristina] doesn't know how big of a facade I was putting on," Bettis said. "As strong as I was trying to be, I was more leaning more on her and our families and my teammates and everybody that was lending support, whether it was via social media, letters, prayers, everything."
More emotion hit during his pregame walk from the bullpen to the dugout. No announcement was made. But a montage of Bettis' public showings during his battle played on the big screen. Teammates formed a line to high-five him and the crowd simply went wild.
"Whoa," Bettis said. "I don't know how to explain it. You try and get your mind so clear because you know the game and the task you have at hand. And to be hit with that ton of emotion was unbelievable."
Immediately, he needed help when the game started. The Braves' Ender Inciarte opened the first by tripling past a diving left fielder Gerardo Parra. But when Inciarte tried to score, Parra and shortstop Trevor Story relayed pinpoint throws to the plate for the first out.
"It went from being incredibly high to, 'Oh, no, we're about to be down, 1-0,'" Bettis said. "Parra tried to make a spectacular play and ended up still making a spectacular play. Seeing guys give 100 percent effort is all I asked for." Bettis said it took until the fifth inning for him to gather his emotions, but his composure impressed catcher Jonathan Lucroy. "I'm happy that he could overcome all that and compete and dominate like he did tonight," Lucroy said.
"Rockies manager Bud Black came and sat by me in the sixth and said, 'How do you feel? Be honest with me. We're kind of in uncharted territory,' which is true," Bettis said. "And I looked him in his eyes and said, 'I feel great. And, to be honest with you, we're going to get through this.'
"And then when he came over in the seventh, he looked me back in my eyes and was like, 'You're done. We couldn't ask for much more from you right now.'" (Harding - mlb.com - 8/15/17)
Dec. 6, 2017: Bettis' inspiring return from a battle with testicular cancer has earned him the 2017 Tony Conigliaro Award. The award will be presented at the 79th annual Boston Baseball Writers' dinner, co-hosted by the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America and the Sports Museum, on Jan. 18.
Since 1990, a player each year has been honored in the name of Conigliaro -- a former Red Sox star whose career was altered by a pitch that struck him in the eye in 1967, and whose life ended in 1990 at the age of 45, days after a massive heart attack. The award goes to the "Major Leaguer who has overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination, and courage that were trademarks of Tony C."
Jan 5, 2018: Whether the cheers are for him, or against him on the road, he's at his best when he doesn't actually hear the crowd -- or much else. "It can be as quiet as if you put your head underwater and you can hear everything that's going on," Bettis said. "That's what it feels like. Or if you have headphones or earphones on -- there's nothing on, but you can see everything that's going on. That's what I mean. You can still hear the background noise, but it's not necessarily to the extent of us having a conversation.
"It would be much more muted than that, almost to the extent where all you're listening to or all you're hearing is your heartbeat. All you're seeing and whatever you want to let in is happening.
"Hopefully I'll be able to explain that to our other starters, and try to get everybody to essentially pitch collectively as a group with a very, very quiet mind," said Bettis, who is giving thanks for support during his crisis by teaming with the Testicular Cancer Society to host the Chad Bettis Charity Classic golf tournament at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Bettis turns 29 on April 26 and has made 98 appearances (69 starts) over parts of five seasons, by far the Rockies' most experienced starter on a team that is spending most of its dollars in the bullpen. The rotation will have to derive leadership from what's in Bettis' head and heart.
"When you let your killer instinct take over, when you do what comes natural to you throughout your life and you're able to do it at your highest level, you cut all that minutiae," pitching coach Steve Foster said. "That's what he is describing."
Bettis cherishes the times he has captured the desired level of quiet. One was on Sept. 5, 2016, when he struck out seven and held the visiting Giants to two hits in his only career shutout, a 6-0 victory. "Even from the first pitch that got whacked up the middle to the last out the whole game was quiet," Bettis said.
Bettis' health ordeal began with a diagnosis and surgery in November 2016, then nine weeks of chemotherapy when doctors discovered in March -- just before he and his wife, Kristina, experienced the birth of their first child, a girl -- that the disease had spread to his lymph nodes. He drew strength from his comeback.
"That was a very big teaching: We don't get to control everything that happens to us; we have to just roll with what's going on," Bettis said. "Without my family and my support system and my wife, with Everleigh coming along, it would have been a completely different experience. That being said, I wouldn't have changed anything." (T Harding - MLB.com - Jan 5, 2018)
Feb 14, 2018: Chad Bettis' black hair stands high, his shoulders and torso are trim, and any sign of the battle with testicular cancer that affected him last season is gone. But Bettis, a right-handed pitcher determined to get back to leading the Rockies' rotation, does carry one aspect of his battle: the desire to help. At any point when not working, Bettis will take time to text a cancer patient in Denver, or worldwide.
"Now it's just kind of what I'd do," Bettis said. "I never thought that I'd be connected to some of the people that I'm connected with in ways that I am. Just to be there, listen to them, talk to them, give them some support; that's what I'm here for." (T Harding - MLB.com - Feb 14, 2018)
April 2018: In an interview on " Intentional Talk" Chad was asked why he now has a tradition of collecting dirt from every ballpark mound he visits. He said that what he has gone through the past year has given him a better perspective on life and baseball and is something that he just wants to do.
Chad celebrated his one-year anniversary of his final testicular cancer treatment with a quiet dinner with his wife , Kristina on May 16, 2018. He extended the celebration the next day by doing what he does best -- and, actually, doing just a little more.
Bettis held the Giants to three runs and five hits in six innings -- and was one pitch away from even better results -- and even drove in a run. He didn't figure in the decision, but he was able to celebrate Colorado's 5-3 victory in 12 innings at AT&T Park.
"It's unbelievable, just from all the guys in our clubhouse that have been with me for a whole year now, every step of the way," Bettis said. "From being diagnosed twice to being on the other side of it now, it means a lot to me of how tight-knit of a group we really are. There are a lot of relationships I have developed -- not because of what I've gone through, but how strong they were, and being able to lean on them."
Bettis has benefited from everything that he has put in the past. It's not just the cancer. He has moved beyond his old style of blowing away hitters with velocity, back when a mid-to-upper 90s mph fastball was his weapon, rather than his changeup. He has embraced being process-oriented, rather than results-oriented. He knows good outings are good, but good outings while understanding why are even better. It's fitting, considering one of his favorite hobbies.
"I'd rather play chess in baseball than trying to overpower guys," Bettis said. And he can celebrate cornering and capturing his health and life from a difficult opponent. (Harding - mlb.com - 5/17/18)
June 2010: Bettis signed with the Rockies after they chose him in the second round, out of Texas Tech University. He signed for a $477,000 bonus, via scout Dar Cox.
- Jan 12, 2018: Chad and the Rockies avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal at $2 million.
|Birth City:||Lubbock, TX|
|Draft:||Rockies #2 - 2010 - Out of Texas Tech Univ.|
Bettis has a very lively 91-96 mph FASTBALL that he commands well. He also has a hard 81-84 mph slurvy-CURVEBALL with a late break, an above average 85-87 mph powerful two-plane SLIDER that comes out of his hand on the same plane as his heater, and is more like an 85-88 mph CUTTER. And he developed a good 82-83 mph CHANGEUP that has splitter action for use against lefty hitters. He sells his change well.
His slider flattens out too often. But it is a radical pitch when it is "on."
Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta says of Bettis, "He can execute four pitches and throw them at any time. His changeup is a plus pitch, and it is an equalizer. Change-up/split -- whatever you want to call it -- it's a changeup that acts like a split (with pronounced downward action). He has the ability to flip a curveball, and use that cutter-slider anytime he wants to."
2016 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 46.5% of the time; Sinker 9.5% of the time; Change 13.1%; Slider 20.6%; and Curve 10.4% of the time.
2017 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 51.9% of the time; Change 26.6%; Slider 6%; and Curve 15.5% of the time.
- Scouts think of Jake Peavy when they watch Bettis.
Chad throws from a low three-quarters slot and isn't big at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds. While he doesn't throw on much of a downward plane, his arm angle generates a lot of life on his heater and makes it difficult to hit. He has fluid mechanics, quick arm speed and an aggressive approach, going right at the hitters.
He has the fluid delivery and quick arm to allow him to look effortless while getting fine velocity and impressive movement.
Starting in 2011, Chad was staying back better and then driving with his lower half in his delivery, allowing him to fire more low strikes. He works the bottom of the zone consistently. (Spring 2013)
Bettis' resilient arm and attack-the-hitter intense mentality make him a solid fit in the bullpen.
But he also can maintain his velocity for 9 innings, making him a capable starter. The development of his secondary pitches will decide where he fits best. His lack of height raises concerns that he'll work on a flat plane and have trouble the third time through a lineup unless he develops a softer pitch (more likely his curve than his changeup) so he can change speeds as well as locations.
- Chad needs to throw more quality strikes. But he keeps the ball down and throws strikes low in the zone. He has goodn control, but lacks good command. He very rarely gives up a home run.
- He is a fearless competitor, a real bulldog on the mound. He goes right after guys who will not back down.
Bettis is a knowledgable pitcher. He knows how to pitch and has the desire to win.
"One of the great things about him, maybe the best thing about him, is that he's very confident in himself," Rockies farm director Jeff Bridich said. "He knows he's good. He's very determined to be good. And with his stuff and his preparation and work ethic and his fierceness and intensity on the mound every time he takes the mound, he knows he's going to be good. That is a great asset to have, and everything else is just pure development and experience."
- In 2016, Bettis had the 6th-most ground ball outs in all of MLB, with 260. Marcus Stroman led with 310 ground ball outs.
- As of the start of the 2018 season, Chad had a career record of 25-23 with a 5.01 ERA, having allowed 473 hits and 51 home runs in 416 innings.
January 2007: Bettis hurt his knee playing pickup football. Arthroscopic surgery was required, so he got a late start on his senior high school season.
2012: Bettis missed the entire season due to a shoulder strain in a muscle behind his right shoulder, an injury that is happily behind him. It developed as his short stay in big league spring training camp was winding down in March. A setback in August scuttled his season. He didn't return until Instructional League in September.
May-July 3, 2013: Chad was on the D.L. for about six weeks with an oblique issue.
July 19-Aug. 24, 2015: Chad was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation.
March 10-August 5, 2017: Chad announced that his testicular cancer had unexpectadely returned and that he will probably be out most of the 2017 season while he undergoes chemo treatments.
June 2, 2017: Rockies right-handed pitcher Chad Bettis, who has battled testicular cancer since late November, said he plans to take his comeback to a new level when he joins the team at Coors Field for workouts.
"I got my [chemotherapy] port out and will be joining the team when they come back from San Diego," Bettis said. "I'm doing great."
The surgery to remove the port took place and after the results of blood tests and CT scans in previous days gave doctors confidence to do so.
Even while undergoing chemotherapy, Bettis stayed in shape. He requested the port through which medicine was administered be installed beneath his left clavicle so he could throw between treatments. He has been playing catch, but has not thrown off a mound. Bettis hopes to return to the Majors this 2017 season, but there is no specific timetable. (T Harding - MLB.com - June 2, 2017)
- July 3-Aug 7, 2018: Chad was on the DL with right middle finger blister.