The Rockies entered the All-Star break having won their first series in nearly three weeks. After the break, they could be in store for another morale boost as Chad Bettis is set to make his first rehab start on Thursday. The news is not just a spirit-lifter for everyone who has followed Bettis’ story; it’s a boost to the entire Rockies’ rotation.
MiLB writer and host of the Purple Dinosaur Podcast Tyler Maun joined Renaud Notaro of The Final Verdict on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 to discuss what a potential mid-August return for Bettis means to the Rockies.
“Chad Bettis is going to be coming back,” Maun said. “If Chad Bettis comes back and he’s good Chad Bettis, then you not only have a guy who is one of your top two or three starters, but you also have a guy whose workload going towards the end of the season is going to be vastly lower. If you’re making a playoff run, you’re going to have Jon Gray and Chad Bettis, two guys who are arguably your two best starters, be that much fresher going into the postseason. That could be a tremendous asset.”
Bettis’ return would give the Rockies yet another arm to add to the mix of potential starters. Already, the Rockies have seven proven starters who have had success at the major league level. When Bettis returns, they will have eight potential starters. The crowded rotation has already forced the Rockies to move Antonio Senzatela to the bullpen, (then to Triple-A). Another starter could face a move to the bullpen.
Given his inability to consistently pound the strike zone, Maun believes that Tyler Chatwood could be the odd man out. The major league leader in walks, Chatwood may be forced to the bullpen if he cannot turn things around.
“I think at this stage it’s too much not to [be worried],” Maun said. “The walks have just killed him this year. That’s going to kill you at any ballpark, but the fact that you do it at the most offensive-friendly park in baseball is a big issue for this team.”
In similar fashion, the Rockies’ outfield is just as congested. Gerardo Parra is back healthy, and the impending return of David Dahl adds another wrinkle to the mix. Like Chatwood in the rotation, Carlos Gonzalez has been the underperformer in the outfield. The three-time All-Star is bating just .221 with six home runs and 22 RBI this season. Though there is certainly time for a rebound, the Rockies’ other options in the outfield are pressing the matter.
“With CarGo, we’ve talked about it all year, he’s gotta show something that he’s getting it going,” Maun said. “Right now, if you have a healthy David Dahl, there’s an argument to be made that CarGo is the fifth-most talented guy in their [outfield] just based on what he’s done in 2017.”
Listen to the full interview with Maun, including an updated status on David Dahl’s injury, in the podcast below.
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