Bettis misses start with neck stiffness

Right-hander doesn't expect to be sidelined long; Arenado homers in split-squad game

March 23rd, 2019

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies right-hander said his neck stiffness, which caused him to be scratched from Friday night’s 6-5 split-squad win over the Padres, is a minor issue that should sideline him for just a couple days.

Bettis said the tentative plan is for him to throw a light side session Sunday, and pitch six innings on Tuesday -- either in a Minor League game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick or against the Twins on Tuesday at Fort Myers, Fla., in the Rockies’ final exhibition game.

“I woke up this morning and felt a little weird, and just felt like I needed to say something to stay on top of it before it got any worse,” said Bettis, who was 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in five Cactus League starts, and had given up one run and eight hits in his last 11 innings. “I know six innings in a Spring Training game is a lot to cover. So just stay in front of it.

“This is pretty minor. Other than that, I've felt really good. It's just completely preventative.”

Bettis said he will see how he feels Saturday, and if all is well go with his plan of the Sunday side session and the Tuesday start.

Big bat on fire
Third baseman went 2-for-3 with a home run in the Rockies' 6-4 split-squad loss to the Giants on Friday night. In his last 11 Spring Training games, Arenado is 15-for-30 (.500).

Another test passed
Second baseman played the full game against the Padres and made it pay off with a three-run, game-ending homer off Luis Perdomo. The homer came on a full-count, 94.8 mph fastball on the seventh pitch of the at-bat.

“You learn things about guys,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “The previous at-bat, I thought he got called out on strikes on that high pitch. But he hung in there, kept his wits about him. For that at-bat, what a great swing.”

Musgrave makes his case
Lefty , hoping to earn a bullpen spot, started Friday against a Padres lineup that included just one lefty hitter, Eric Hosmer. Musgrave struck out five and gave up one run on three hits. In 11 2/3 Cactus League innings, he's allowed four earned runs.

Lefty Chris Rusin will likely begin the season on the injured list due to a recent upper-back injury, and Musgrave has pitched well with the resulting opportunity.

“I was pleased with the execution of pitches, especially sliders -- they were good with two strikes,” Musgrave said. “Changeups were a little hit-and-miss, but the last inning and a half they came along well.

“Hopefully, with the long role that I try to go for, I'd like to be able to face righties as much as lefties. I don't want to limit myself, only being able to get lefties, for the team's sake.”

A chance to impress
Ryan Metzler, who has been in the Rockies’ organization since 2017, made the most of his opportunity vs. San Diego on Friday. In the seventh inning while playing third base, Metzler made a diving backhand stop of a hard-hit Hunter Renfroe ball.

Metzler batted .229 in 98 games at Double-A Hartford and .381 in eight games at Triple-A Albuquerque.

Up next
Left-hander will start in the final home Cactus League game against the Cubs and left-hander Jon Lester on Saturday at 7:40 p.m. MT/6:40 MST.