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Bettis to undergo season-ending hip surgery

@harding_at_mlb
August 25, 2019

ST. LOUIS -- Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis, who hasn’t pitched since Aug. 13 because of a right hip impingement, will undergo bilateral hip surgery, which will be performed by Dr. James Genuario on Tuesday in Denver. The decision, which Bettis revealed on Sunday, put an end to a strange season

ST. LOUIS -- Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis, who hasn’t pitched since Aug. 13 because of a right hip impingement, will undergo bilateral hip surgery, which will be performed by Dr. James Genuario on Tuesday in Denver.

The decision, which Bettis revealed on Sunday, put an end to a strange season that saw Bettis begin in the starting rotation and then move to the bullpen so he could maintain velocity. He pitched well in relief initially but saw a dramatic change in his results, which stemmed from trying to pitch through the hip issue.

Bettis has said the impingement is in his right hip, but bilateral surgery refers to both hips.

“After a lot of consultation and opinion from the medical field, it was determined that the best course of action for Chad was to do surgery on his hips,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “That will occur Tuesday. We’re hoping, obviously, for Chad for a good outcome.”

Bettis, 30, heads into his final offseason of arbitration eligibility with some uncertainty because of the injury.

“That’s looking a little far ahead,” Bettis said. “I don’t necessarily know what’s going to happen down that avenue. We’ll see where we’re at when that comes up.”

After posting an 8.78 ERA in three starts, during which his fastball velocity dipped, Bettis shifted to the bullpen – a role he had late in 2018, when a blister problem on his right middle finger curtailed his availability and effectiveness as a starter. In his first 16 relief outings, Bettis held opponents to a .215 batting average and struck out 18 against three walks while posting a 1.46 ERA. There was a surge in fastball velocity, and Bettis embraced the pace and strategy of relief work.

The Rockies placed Bettis on the injured list Aug. 17 and had contemplated the move for about two weeks before then. However, the hip issue bothered Betis even longer, he acknowledged this week. What is clear is his performance was affected -- 9.12 ERA, 15 strikeouts, 10 walks and seven home runs allowed over 20 outings.

Bettis said as recently as Friday that he felt better and hoped to return, but he was seeking the multiple opinions that ultimately led to the surgery decision.

“I’ve been trying to grind through it,” Bettis said. “It seemed like it wasn’t making any headway, wasn’t getting any better.”

Once the operation is performed, Bettis will join the list of Rockies players whose seasons have ended: left-handed starter Tyler Anderson (left knee chondral defect); infielder Brendan Rodgers (right labrum), the team’s top prospect, per MLB Pipeline; right-handed starter Jon Gray (left foot stress fracture); right-handed closer Scott Oberg (blood clots); and right-handed reliever Seunghwan Oh (right elbow), who has been released.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.