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Bettis likely choice to start Thursday vs. Braves

Bettis likely choice to start Thursday vs. Braves

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Bettis likely choice to start Thursday vs. Braves

ATLANTA -- Signs point to the Rockies calling up right-handed prospect Chad Bettis from Double-A Tulsa to start Thursday against the Braves. Although manager Walt Weiss declined to make an announcement, he did say he was interested in how Bettis, 24, can contribute at the big league level.

Bettis, a hard-thrower, is 3-4 with a 3.71 ERA in 12 starts in a season shortened by an oblique injury. He has 68 strikeouts against 13 walks. Bettis is not as dominant as right-hander Juan Nicasio was when the Rockies plucked him from Double-A in 2011, but the numbers argue for a similar treatment.

Before Bettis suffered a shoulder injury last season, there was sentiment in the organization to convert him to a reliever, with an eye toward him becoming a closer. But with the difficulty in finding power starters, it could be difficult to convert Bettis now, especially with lefty Rex Brothers showing he has the power and mettle to succeed Rafael Betancourt should the Rockies go in that direction.

"He's been a starter down there," Weiss said of Bettis. "We haven't talked about what his role would be. There are a couple of different schools of thought. He's been a starter, so his arm is built up to do that. Some people project him as a bullpen guy down the road. We'll figure all that stuff out."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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