Is Chad Betts an option for the San Diego Padres?
The San Diego Padres are still looking for ways to bolster their starting rotation.
Unfortunately, they are now running options, especially via free agency. One option still available is right-handed pitcher Chad Bettis. Bettis was on MLB Network Radio with Mike Ferrin and Jon Morosi to discuss his future. Bettis said that “this is the best he’s felt physically since 2016.”
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 31, 2019
Bettis has struggled to remain on the field in recent years. Back in 2017, the pitcher was diagnosed with testicular cancer and made three other injured list appearances since. His health would be a concern for whoever would sign him.
On the mound, Bettis has a career 5.12 ERA, 1.468 WHIP, and 431 strikeouts in 600.2 innings. He has spent his entire career playing for the Colorado Rockies, so it is worth noting that he has pitched the majority of his career at Coors Field, the most hitter-friendly ballpark in MLB. Outside of Coors Field, he has a career 4.42 ERA and a 1.419 WHIP in 297.1 innings. If the San Diego Padres were to sign him, he would primarily pitch at Petco Park, where he has a 3.24 career ERA and a 1.320 WHIP in 33.1 innings.
Bettis throws a plethora of pitches. He throws a four-seam fastball as his primary pitch, which is usually around 93 mph. His fundamental offspeed pitch is his changeup, which he throws over 25% of the time. He also throws a curveball and a slider to add lateral movement off of his fastball and changeup. If that wasn’t enough, he also throws a cutter and a sinker, which provide velocity and movement. There’s plenty to work with for new San Diego Padres pitching coach Larry Rothschild and Darren Balsley if Bettis is brought to San Diego.
The case for the Padres to sign a pitcher with a career 5.12 ERA: The Padres have always turned around struggling pitchers at Petco Park. One recent example is Jhoulys Chacin, who also previously pitched for the Colorado Rockies. In his final season at Coors field, Chacin posted a 5.40 ERA, similar to Bettis. When Chacin came to Petco Park and the Padres in 2017, he posted a 3.89 ERA. Other pitchers who revitalized their career in Petco over the past five seasons include Drew Pomeranz, Brad Hand, Brandon Morrow, Craig Stammen, Jordan Lyles, Fernando Rodney, and of course, Kirby Yates.
The numbers might scare you when it comes to Bettis. However, baseball is not played on a computer, and Bettis has the tools to be a successful pitcher. A one-year deal to give Bettis a chance might be worth a shot. If Bettis doesn’t improve, he can be cut. But if the pitcher finally reaches his potential, the San Diego Padres could get a good player at a bargain price. They’ve done it before, why not with Chad Bettis?