That reasonably could have spelled the end of Betancourt’s career. The Colorado Rockies predictably declined his option for the 2014 season, but the veteran reliever still wants to come back and he still wants to pitch for the Rockies. Not only that, he wants it to be this season, not in 2015.
Here’s what Betancourt told Troy Renck of the Denver Post on Friday morning:
“But I didn’t want to wonder what if?
If I pitch again, it will be with the Rockies. I can’t see myself anywhere else at this point in my career. I have really enjoyed five years there.”
Even with a long and successful career behind him, you hate to see anybody’s career end on an injury. Betancourt might come back and struggle to be effective, but as he says, at least he wouldn’t be wondering what if. Then again, he was still effective for spurts in 2013, saving 16 games for the Rockies. If he responds to Tommy John like so many pitchers do and comes back throwing harder, then perhaps he could end his career with a bit of a flourish.
As a free agent, Betancourt has reportedly received some interest from other teams this winter. Presuming he remains steadfast in his commitment to the Rockies and is able to complete his comeback, it would be an interesting situation for Colorado. With Boone Logan and LaTroy Hawkins already added, a reasonably effective Betancourt could create a loaded bullpen. It would be the kind of bullpen, in fact, that would allow Walt Weiss to “La Russa” his way through the late innings of games to his heart’s content.
We won’t ever see Betancourt closing games in Colorado again, but if he does end up back in a Rockies uniform it would give the bullpen nice depth, whether it’s in 2014 or 2015.