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Bettis scratched from Saturday start

Replacement starter has not been announced as righty rests finger
MLB.com

DENVER -- Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis will not be able to come off the disabled list in time for Saturday's start against the Mariners, Rockies manager Bud Black said on Thursday.

Bettis is still on the mend with a blister on the middle finger of his right hand. Black said that he is still making a decision as to who will start.

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DENVER -- Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis will not be able to come off the disabled list in time for Saturday's start against the Mariners, Rockies manager Bud Black said on Thursday.

Bettis is still on the mend with a blister on the middle finger of his right hand. Black said that he is still making a decision as to who will start.

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"We all -- we meaning Chad, the pitching coaches and I -- deemed that he needs more time to truly let how his finger feels get to a state where there's total confidence that he could start a game and finish a game," Black said. "Where the finger's to the point where there's no questioning the status of the finger."

Bettis threw about 40 pitches in a bullpen session on Tuesday and said he pitched aggressively. He threw all five of his pitches, but he changed his grip on his fastball to create less friction. There wasn't any pain, which he sees as progress, especially after the pain he felt when pitching against the Dodgers on July 1, when he exited after three innings and was put on the disabled list.

"I wasn't holding anything back by any means," Bettis said. "That was a good step forward. I felt like I was able to have a pretty good feel for everything, especially it being the first time without tape on it. So I was pretty happy with it."

To treat the blister -- something Bettis hasn't had to deal with in his career -- he has tried as much as he can. He and the Rockies training staff have tried taking a little bit off the skin, soaking it in pickle juice, salt and rice and moisturizing it.

"There's a fine balance there somewhere, but I don't think there's a perfect answer," Bettis said. "Because if there was, that person would be making a lot of money right now."

So who will the Rockies go with on Saturday? There could be a few options, and Black said there might be a decision by the end of Thursday's game.

Right-hander Jon Gray, who was demoted to Triple-A Albuquerque on June 30, would be on five days' rest Saturday. On Sunday, in his most recent start, he threw 102 pitches in 4 2/3 innings and gave up two earned runs on five hits.

Sam Howard, who has made one relief appearance for the Rockies this year, could also be called up. Howard, a lefty, pitched six innings Friday and gave up one home run while striking out six for Albuquerque.

Right-hander Yency Almonte is currently in the Rockies bullpen, but he was a starter in Triple-A. Almonte pitched two innings in Wednesday's win over the D-backs -- it was his first appearance in 19 days.

Anne Rogers is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow her on Twitter at @anne__rogers.

Colorado Rockies, Chad Bettis