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Rafael Betancourt

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Title: Rafael Betancourt  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 2007 Cleveland Indians season, History of the Colorado Rockies, Bettencourt (surname), Bullpen, Venezuelan sportspeople in doping cases
Collection: 1975 Births, 2006 World Baseball Classic Players, Akron Aeros Players, Baseball Players Suspended for Drug Offenses, Buffalo Bisons (Minor League) Players, Cleveland Indians Players, Colorado Rockies Players, Colorado Springs Sky Sox Players, Columbus Clippers Players, Grand Junction Rockies Players, Gulf Coast Red Sox Players, Living People, Major League Baseball Pitchers, Major League Baseball Players from Venezuela, Michigan Battle Cats Players, People from Cumaná, Sarasota Red Sox Players, Trenton Thunder Players, Venezuelan Expatriate Baseball Players in Japan, Venezuelan Sportspeople in Doping Cases, Yokohama Baystars Players
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Rafael Betancourt

Rafael Betancourt
Betancourt with the Colorado Rockies
Free Agent
Relief pitcher
Born: (1975-04-29) April 29, 1975
Cumaná, Sucre State, Venezuela
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
July 13, 2003, for the Cleveland Indians
MLB statistics
(through 2015 season)
Win–loss record 38–37
Earned run average 3.36
Strikeout 724
Saves 75

Rafael Jose Betancourt (born April 29, 1975) is a Venezuelan professional baseball relief pitcher who is currently a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cleveland Indians and Colorado Rockies, as well as in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for the Yokohama BayStars.


  • Career 1
    • Boston Red Sox 1.1
    • Cleveland Indians 1.2
    • Colorado Rockies 1.3
  • Pitching style 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Boston Red Sox

He was originally signed as an amateur free agent by the Boston Red Sox in September 1999. The Red Sox released him following the 1999 season and then re-signed him as a free agent in December 2000 after he spent the 2000 season with the Yokohama BayStars. He was granted free agency again in October 2001, after serving the required time to acquire free agency.

Cleveland Indians

Pitching with the Indians in 2009

After sitting out the 2002 season he signed with the Cleveland Indians as a minor league free agent and made his Major League debut for the Indians on July 13, 2003 against the Chicago White Sox. He pitched in 33 games for the Indians, registering an ERA of 2.13.

In 2004, Betancourt went 5-6, his first full season in the Majors.

On July 8, 2005 he became the sixth Major League player to be suspended for testing positive in steroids testing.[1] He went on to appear in 54 games.

In 2006, Betancourt's ERA grew a full run higher than his previous season. Betancourt's best season was in 2007, as he registered career bests in ERA, Innings pitched and walks allowed.

On January 23, 2008, he signed a new two-year contract with the Indians with a club option for 2010.[2]

Colorado Rockies

On July 22, 2009, Betancourt was traded to the Colorado Rockies for minor league pitcher Connor Graham. His $5.4 million club option was declined at the end of the season, making him a free agent. Betancourt qualified as a Type A free agent, and was offered arbitration by the Rockies.

On December 7, 2009, Betancourt accepted the arbitration offer from the Rockies, returning to the team from free agency.[3][4]

After numerous seasons being a set up man, Betancourt was given the closer role in 2012, saving 31 games for the Rockies.

On August 22, 2013, Betancourt suffered a season ending injury to his elbow.[5]

On April 25, 2014 Betancourt signed a new minor league deal with the Rockies.[6]

On January 30, 2015, Betancourt signed a minor league contract to remain with the Rockies.[7]

On August 23, 2015, Betancourt was designated for assignment.[8]

Pitching style

His best pitches are a 90–94 MPH four-seam fastball, and slider which is often mistakenly called a slurve. He also throws a changeup. Although he's not classified as a strikeout pitcher, Betancourt gets more than his share by throwing a significant number of strikes. He is a converted shortstop with a metal plate and six screws in his pitching elbow.

Betancourt is known in some circles for his odd windup. He constantly taps his foot on the rubber before coming set with a runner on base. He will constantly move his hands around and then tug on his baseball cap (sometimes doing it nine times) prior to throwing the next pitch. This is among the longest windups in the league. There is a rule to avoid unnecessary delays which states that if a pitcher takes at least 12 seconds to deliver a pitch, the pitch is automatically ruled a ball. Betancourt is one of the few pitchers who have had this rule enforced while pitching.[9]

See also


  1. ^ "Players suspended under baseball's steroids policy". June 7, 2006. Retrieved July 20, 2007. 
  2. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (January 23, 2008). "Betancourt earns raise from Tribe Reliever tied for American League lead in holds in 2007".  
  3. ^ Renck, Troy. Betancourt accepts Rockies’ arbitration offer, Denver Post. Published December 7, 2009. Retrieved December 8, 2009.
  4. ^ Harding, Thomas. Betancourt accepts arbitration from Rockies, Published December 7, 2009. Retrieved December 8, 2009.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Todd, Jeff (January 30, 2015). "Rockies Sign Rafael Betancourt, Omar Quintanilla". Retrieved January 31, 2015. 
  8. ^ 
  9. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (July 4, 2007). "Notes: Betancourt methodical on mound".  

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
  • Weak-hitting shortstop found new life in bullpen
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