Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis isn't the type to wonder. If there's an issue, he's going to research and plan action. For example, at season's end, the Rockies have exit meetings in which they discuss offseason areas of improvement. Before anyone spoke to Bettis after a solid 2016 -- 14-8, 4.79 ERA -- he had a plan. Opponents hit .331 on pitches 76-100 of his outings, and he decided, on his own, to focus on the last 15 pitches each game. "'That sounds like Chad, right?'" smiling Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said when relayed Bettis' planned approach. So a recent diagnosis of testicular cancer shook Bettis, 27, but only briefly. Healthy after surgery for a cancer that the surgeon believes had not spread, and armed with knowledge, Bettis will deal with his health with the same meticulousness. After the diagnosis in mid-November, he armed himself with statistics on the disease and the rates of success after early detections. Since surgery on Nov. 29, he began planning a rehab that will allow him to be ready when the season starts in early April, as long as follow-up blood work comes back as expected. Even more, Bettis plans to speak to urge men to speak up about their health, the way he did when he noticed something amiss. "The more I think about it, the more I think that baseball has prepared me for something like this," Bettis said Friday by phone from his offseason residence in Scottsdale, Ariz. "My whole baseball career, not just as a Rockie, but as a child playing baseball all the way through high school to college to now, there are things you learn through baseball that you can apply to life." Bettis noticed something unsual about a month ago. "It was just a little lump, and it was no bigger than a grain of rice," he said. "It was no bigger than a pea. I didn't know what to think of it. It was something that, I don't know if it's something that I need to say something about or maybe it's nothing? So sure enough, I checked in the morning, and it was still there, then that's when I started that process." An ultrasound revealed the cancer, and follow-up work over a little more than a week showed that the cancer had not spread.
Chad Bettis says baseball prepared him for cancer diagnosis
MLB.com | Dec 17