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Bettis' rehab assignment moves to Triple-A

Right-hander to make at least two starts for Albuquerque
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

DENVER -- Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis will join Triple-A Albuquerque on Sunday for the first of two starts, after which he should be close to making his 2017 Major League debut.

Bettis, who underwent surgery in November for testicular cancer and underwent chemotherapy from late March to mid-May, has made two Minor League rehab appearances at Double-A Hartford, recording a 1.93 ERA in 4 2/3 innings, with six strikeouts and two walks.

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DENVER -- Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis will join Triple-A Albuquerque on Sunday for the first of two starts, after which he should be close to making his 2017 Major League debut.

Bettis, who underwent surgery in November for testicular cancer and underwent chemotherapy from late March to mid-May, has made two Minor League rehab appearances at Double-A Hartford, recording a 1.93 ERA in 4 2/3 innings, with six strikeouts and two walks.

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Sunday's start at Salt Lake calls for four innings or 60-65 pitches. On Friday, he'll start at home for Albuquerque against Omaha, with limits of five innings or 80 pitches. Bettis, 28, is eligible for rehab starts through Aug. 13, but if he's fine after his second start for Albuquerque, it's not a stretch to think he could make his next start in the Majors.

"Is [the two-game assignment at Triple-A] the end of the tunnel? I don't know. It's not my call," Bettis said. "But it feels like I'm getting close."

Bettis said his first outing at Hartford involved working on pitches. His second one -- he was scheduled to start but backed up to relief because of threatening weather early in the evening -- he worked on game situations, firing 46 pitches over 2 2/3 innings, giving up a run on three hits with one walk and three strikeouts.

In Triple-A, Bettis will be seeking more consistency. In the last outing, his fastball cut too much, but he said that's a mechanical fix.

Worth noting

• Righty Tyler Chatwood said Saturday that he didn't feel the effects of a right calf strain -- which he suffered a week ago -- during a two-inning live batting-practice session at Coors Field on Friday afternoon. Chatwood is eligible to return from the 10-day disabled list Tuesday, but the Rockies currently list righty Jon Gray as the starter for Tuesday's road game against the Cardinals and Jeff Hoffman for Wednesday's series finale.

Video: PIT@COL: Chatwood throws a simulated game in rehab

Chatwood (6-11, 4.74 ERA) has had a frustrating season, mainly because of his 60 walks in 106 1/3 innings. But during the time away, Chatwood has simplified his mechanics, which he believes will give him greater consistency.

"I've taken some moving parts out, and it feels good," Chatwood said. "The fewer moving parts, the less that can go wrong."

For all of Chatwood's rough numbers, he has not been hit hard. According to Statcast™, the 84.8-mph average exit velocity hitters have against him is the fifth-lowest in the Majors among pitchers with 250 or more batted-ball events.

"I haven't been hit hard all year; I've beaten myself," Chatwood said. "When you put guys on, they don't need a lot to score."

• Three official scoring changes have been announced. A Charlie Blackmon infield single against the White Sox on July 7 has been changed to a throwing error on shortstop Tim Anderson, and on July 16, a throwing error by Mets first baseman Lucas Duda has been changed to a single for Gerardo Parra. However, a Parra RBI infield single on July 16 has been changed to a fielding error on White Sox pitcher Derek Holland and no RBI.

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

Colorado Rockies, Chad Bettis