Bettis moved by Rockies' support at ASG

Bettis moved by Rockies' support at ASG

NEW YORK -- Chad Bettis has started out on the road back to the Rockies' rotation, and his teammates could hardly be happier.

"I can't wait for him to be back here," second baseman DJ LeMahieu said Saturday.

LeMahieu and center fielder Charlie Blackmon both held up a card with Bettis' name at Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, as Major League Baseball paused for the Stand Up to Cancer moment in the fifth inning. Bettis, who was preparing for his first rehabilitation start for Double-A Hartford after battling testicular cancer, was watching on television and saw the salute.

"It meant the world to me," Bettis told the Hartford Courant. "There are great guys there, and there are great guys here in Hartford. It's just great to be part of this organization of class, really. The support has been nothing but overwhelming and gracious."

• Bettis: An unexpected curveball

Bettis pitched well Thursday in Hartford, with two hitless innings, no walks and three strikeouts. Rockies manager Bud Black said Bettis will start again Tuesday in Hartford, before likely moving to Triple-A Albuquerque to continue his rehab.

"We're watching each and every start," Black said. "This is a typical Spring Training progression. Two innings, then three, then four."

Bettis went 14-8 with a 4.79 ERA for the Rockies last season, but found out in November he had cancer. He joined the Rockies in Spring Training, but then found the cancer had returned.

"I've been told what he's been through, but I don't want to say I know what he's been through," Blackmon said. "He has an unbelievable attitude."

Worth noting

• Black said the Rockies held off activating Ian Desmond from the disabled list Saturday because rain prevented him from working out on the field Friday. Black said it's likely Desmond will return to face the Mets on Sunday.

Desmond's return will create something of a lineup crunch, because Black will want to also continue getting at-bats for Gerardo Parra, Mark Reynolds and Raimel Tapia. Black said he'll use Desmond in left field and at first base, but also left open the possibility of playing him elsewhere in the infield.

• While the Rockies haven't yet named a starter for Tuesday, it likely won't be Kyle Freeland. Freeland appeared out of the bullpen Saturday night against the Mets, as the Rockies work to conserve his innings and give him a breather. Tuesday's starter likely will be Antonio Senzatela, who got his breather earlier and started last Thursday for Triple-A Albuquerque.

Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York and covered the Rockies on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.