Rockies starter Chad Bettis was diagnosed with testicular cancer and underwent surgery in November. He was declared cancer-free in January, but the cancer came back and he underwent chemotherapy. As a result, he missed the first half of the season. He began a rehab assignment last month and worked his way all the way back to Monday night, his 2017 debut and long-awaited return to the majors.
Bettis faced the Braves, holding them scoreless over seven innings. He yielded six hits, walked none, and struck out two on 90 pitches. Mike Dunn relieved Bettis to start the eighth inning.
There was a poignant moment captured in the dugout after the top of the seventh between Bettis and manager Bud Black. Via Nick Griffith of Fox 31 Denver:
Unfortunately for Bettis, his offense couldn’t provide him any run support. He did not factor in the decision, but the Rockies scored three runs in the eighth to win, 3-0.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.