HARTFORD — What is harder than getting a major league hitter out? For Chad Bettis, a major league pitcher with the Colorado Rockies, the answer to that question is clear: overcoming cancer.
Not once, but twice.
After spending the 2016 season as a mainstay in the Rockies rotation, Bettis was diagnosed with testicular cancer in November. Shortly after, Bettis underwent surgery.
Following the operation, Bettis began his recovery and was ready for the start of spring training. Unfortunately, during spring training, Bettis received the devastating news that his cancer had spread.
Following the second diagnosis, Bettis was immediately shut down from baseball activity to begin chemotherapy. His goal was to pitch in 2017, but at the time there was no timeline for his recovery, let alone a return to the mound.
About four months later, the picture has come back into focus. Starting tonight, Bettis will begin his journey back to Coors Field. He starts tonight in Hartford for the Yard Goats against the Trenton Thunder, Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees.
Tonight’s game, which marks the Eastern League’s return from its All-Star break, features a second high-profile rehab appearance: Yankees shortstop Starlin Castro.
Bettis’ rehab will take time. He is expected to throw two innings in tonight’s start as the Rockies begin to build Bettis back up to the reliable starter he can be. The road for Bettis has been a long and grueling one, but the light at the end of the tunnel is beginning to shine.
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