Rafael Betancourt’s Career Could Be Over

FRIDAY, 9:20pm: Betancourt told a Venezuelan radio outlet that he will undergo surgery in an attempt to pitch again, according to a report in Mi Diairo passed along by MLB.com's Ian McCue.

TUESDAY, 11:03am: Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that a Monday MRI revealed the worst-case scenario for Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt: a complete tear of his right ulnar collateral ligament that will likely put an end to his 11-year Major League career.

For the time being, Betancourt will receive a platelet-rich plasma injection in his elbow with the faint hope that it will help to form scar tissue that will allow him to pitch again. Should that method fail, Betancourt is likely to retire rather than undergo Tommy John surgery at this stage of his career.

Betancourt, who will turn 39 next April, has been a force in Colorado's bullpen since coming over from the Indians in a trade back in 2009. With the Rockies, he's tallied a 3.08 ERA with 9.0 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and a pristine 1.007 WHIP. He's totaled 646 1/3 innings of 3.19 ERA ball with well over a strikeout per inning in a strong Major League career.

Rockies manager Walt Weiss described Betancourt as a "warrior" after talking with him following the MRI, and Renck writes that he's seen few players prepare harder for each day than Betancourt:

“That’s because I could take nothing for granted. Every day I had to prove myself,” said Betancourt, a converted minor-league infielder. “I wasn’t going to leave anything to chance.”

Betancourt's contract contains a $4.25MM mutual option that will obviously be declined, earning him a $250K buyout. Including that buyout, Betancourt will have earned roughly $23.3MM throughout his career when all is said and done.

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