All right folks, it’s time to dive back into the Rockies’ current roster and consider who should stay on it and who should be shipped to the highest bidder post-haste. Today’s player to be considered is relief pitcher Rafael Betancourt.
Up until late last season, Betancourt was mostly known for his s-l-o-w 8th innings. But he (nearly) always got the job done, so no one was really complaining about his lack of speed. He really got a chance to shine, though, when Huston Street went on the disabled list in August. Betancourt had 3 save opportunities up to that point and blew all of them. On August 9th, he got his 4th chance, and he pitched a perfect 9th inning. From that point forward, he was the Rockies’ official closer, and he converted all but one of his save opportunities. He also recorded 73 strikeouts in 62 1/3 innings pitched, with a ridiculous 16.55 K/9 rate in July.
So should the Rockies hold onto Betancourt? Absolutely yes. He only has one year left on his contract, and I think the Rockies should be working on getting him an extension as soon as possible. He’s making less than $4 million a year, more than affordable for a closer, and he proved this season that he has what it takes to fill that role. The nearly-twice-as-expensive Huston Street gives up more home runs and just generally creates too much drama for me. He is worth quite a bit as trade bait, and since Betancourt has morphed into such a quality pitcher, we can let Street go. It’s time people.
Where should Betancourt be in 2012? Colorado.
Where will Betancourt be in 2012? Colorado, unless something horribly unforeseen occurs.