SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The best of Chad Bettis showed up Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers' A lineup. A couple of more Cactus League outings like that, and the veteran right-hander will solidify a spot in the Rockies' rotation.
Why? Experience and dependability.
"We know that his poise and who he is as a pitcher can relate to anything that we give him," manager Bud Black said. "I know that he wants to start. He sees himself as a starting pitcher. So do we.
"And he's pitching like a big-league starting pitcher right now. The blister thing is hopefully a thing of the past, and now we've got to just get ready for the season."
Bettis pitched four quick innings against the Dodgers, allowing one hit, walking none and striking out five. He faced the minimum 12 batters — thanks to a double play — and threw 32 of his 49 pitches for strikes.
"It was nice to get some good work in against a good lineup," Bettis said. "I felt good and felt in control. Now it's just about repeating that. I felt like I was commanding the ball and was able to keep them off-balance."
Bettis is coming off a frustrating 2018 season. He was 3-1 in April with a 2.43 ERA before painful blisters on his middle finger forced him to the injured list and eventually to the bullpen.
Hoffman and Anderson
Two other back-of-the rotation candidates had mixed results in Monterrey, Mexico, where the Rockies took a split squad over the weekend to face Arizona.
Saturday night, Jeff Hoffman struck out five over four scoreless innings in Colorado's 5-1 victory over the Diamondbacks. The right-hander has been working hard on his fastball command and trying to throw a more consistent changeup. So far, so good, as Hoffman has posted a 3.60 ERA in four spring outings. Black was impressed with what he saw after watching a video of Hoffman's start.
"His goal, or his thought process of how he sees himself as a pitcher, is, to use his words, 'I want to be a power pitcher," Black said. "I said, 'Great, so do I. Be a power pitcher, but we've got to get the ball in the strike zone.'
"Last night, the delivery looked good. He repeated it. He got the ball in the zone. The curve was good, the change was good. That was a good outing. He's still maturing."
Lefty Tyler Anderson, meanwhile, did not fare well south of the border Sunday. The D-backs raked him for three runs on seven hits over four innings, leaving him with a 7.88 ERA. Kevin Cron hit a solo homer off Anderson in the fourth.
Look for the Rockies to make some roster moved and send some players down to minor-league camp, possibly as soon as Monday. ... The Rockies get their first day off Tuesday. Unfortunately for the golfers on the team, there is a 90 percent chance of rain in Scottsdale.