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Bettis brings two-seamer back to the Majors

Bettis brings two-seamer back to the Majors

DENVER -- To regain the Rockies' confidence, right-hander Chad Bettis first had to regain confidence in a pitch he'd abandoned.

Bettis made the jump from Double-A Tulsa to the Rockies' rotation last August but couldn't stick. After he allowed 46 hits and 21 earned runs over his first 36 2/3 Major League innings, the Rockies moved him to the bullpen.

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At that time he decided to scrap his two-seam fastball.

"It was a little inconsistent at that time, and I didn't really trust it that much," said Bettis.

But his ERA continued to climb in the 'pen, from 5.02 to 5.64, and he didn't fare much better to start 2014. In his two stints with the bullpen to begin this season, he allowed 13 earned runs over 13 1/3 innings.

That's when the team sent him to Triple-A Colorado Springs with a new mission.

"Really, just getting my two-seamer back," said Bettis. "I've been utilizing that a lot down there.

"They thought it could be a weapon for me, and it had been a while since I had thrown it. Getting down there and then working on it, you could see it become a weapon for me."

With a new out pitch in his arsenal, Bettis found success in Triple-A, holding opponents to four runs over 19 2/3 innings, with 18 strikeouts.

The Rockies liked what they saw enough to call him back up to the Majors on Monday, when right-hander Eddie Butler (inflammation in right rotator cuff) joined outfielder Michael Cuddyer (fractured shoulder socket) on the disabled list.

Manager Walt Weiss plans on easing Bettis back and doesn't know what his role will be. Bettis, who also has a slider, a changeup and a four-seam fastball, didn't make an appearance on Monday, but when his number is called, he'll be ready to use that once-discarded two-seamer.

"Now that I've thrown it every day, I have full trust in it," he said.

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

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