Bettis Could Fill Multiple Roles In Colorado





DENVER—In two professional seasons, righthander Chad Bettis has proven to be a durable starter capable of maintaining plus velocity in the late innings. His command and stuff are huge assets, along with his aggressiveness and tenacity.

It's a skill set that also makes the 22-year-old Bettis, who started and relieved at Texas Tech before the Rockies drafted him in the second round in 2010, a tantalizing bullpen commodity as a power arm who can hit 100 mph in short bursts.

"He exudes that type of closer mentality," farm director Jeff Bridich said, "that energy or that intensity on the mound . . . That may be fine in due time, if everything else doesn't work out. But right now he's a starter, and if he keeps developing as a starter, he has a chance to be one hell of a starter."

As in a No. 3 or possibly even a No. 2 starter. Bettis went 12-5, 3.34 at high Class A Modesto last season, with 45 walks and 184 strikeouts in 170 innings. After the California League all-star game, Bettis did a much better job of staying back in his delivery, and he went 8-1, 2.41 in 13 starts and allowed 6.0 hits per nine innings, compared to 9.1 in the first half.

Bridich said no decision has been made about moving Bettis to the bullpen, which likely would accelerate his rise to the majors, and Bettis has been told to prepare himself to start in 2012. Logically, that would be at Double-A Tulsa.

"One of the great things about him, maybe the best thing about him, is that he's very confident in himself," 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."

ROCKY ROADS

• The Rockies named Dave Hajek their new roving infield coordinator. He has spent eight years in the organization, the past three as the Tulsa's hitting coach.

• Joining the organization as hitting coaches are former major league outfielder Mike Devereaux at low Class A Asheville and Drew Saylor at Rookie-level Grand Junction. It will be the first coaching position in professional baseball for Saylor, 27, who has coached at Akron and Cleveland State.