SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (CBS4) – Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis is all smiles this Spring Training, and after what he’s been through, who can blame him?
In November of 2016 Bettis was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He was deemed cancer free in December of 2016, but in March of 2017 announced that his cancer had returned and would require chemotherapy.
“I think going through everything last season, last spring training … I think honestly it doesn’t get much harder than that.”
During his chemotherapy treatments Chad’s wife Kristina gave birth to the couple’s first child, a baby girl named Everleigh Rae.
Bettis missed the first 117 games of the 2017 season and made his return to the mound at Coors Field on August 14.
Through cancer and fatherhood Bettis has found a new perspective entering 2018.
“Everything is in the pecking order it should be,” said Bettis at Spring Training. “Going through everything last year was unbelievable. That being said, I think everything is where it needs to be, and I think baseball means a lot to me, but I don’t think it’s number one anymore.”
“He’s got to be in a really really good spot mentally,” added Rockies manager Bud Black. “Watching and talking to him that shows. I’m so happy for him because he’s truly one of the good guys.”
“It’s incredible what he went through and what he overcame,” said Rockies pitcher Kyle Freeland when asked about Bettis’ 2017 season.
When asked about his goals for 2018 Bettis jokingly said with a laugh, “Stay healthy! That’s number one.”
“We’re so oriented on winning now that it’s hard to put an individual statistic up there, because what we’re trying to accomplish here is get back to the playoffs and win.”