Bettis sets sights on starting rotation with Rockies

After struggling out of the 'pen, right-hander hopes to find groove in camp

Bettis sets sights on starting rotation with Rockies

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis won a bullpen job last spring by striking out 11 and yielding just one run and four hits in 10 innings, but the success didn't carry to the regular season (0-2, 9.12 ERA in 21 games).

But late in the year, the Rockies converted Bettis to starter -- his job before the club plucked him from Double-A Tulsa in 2013, where he had fanned 68 in 63 innings over 12 starts. Last season Bettis was up and down between the Rockies and Triple-A Colorado Springs all year. At the end of the season he went 1-2 with a 4.88 ERA in five Triple-A starts. This spring, he is competing for a rotation spot or to be an option for an in-season callup.

"It was relief, so to speak," Bettis said. "I was back at home. I was at ease with it. And I had it cut out this offseason trying to get back to where I was starting-wise. It's definitely a good thing.

"I've been through it before, competing for a spot. But it's controlling what you can and keeping it as simple as you can."

Pitchers began throwing "live" batting practice this week, but Bettis didn't face any hitters on Thursday, when it was supposed to be his turn. But Bettis said he, his coaches and manager Walt Weiss felt he needed to sharpen the placement of his four-seam fastball, which he said has had "inconsistent movement … they brought that to my attention, and I completely agree."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.