Rafael Betancourt

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Rafael Betancourt
Rafael Betancourt 2009.jpg
Betancourt during his tenure with the Indians.
Free agent
Relief pitcher
Born: (1975-04-29) April 29, 1975 (age 38)
Cumaná, Sucre State, Venezuela
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
July 13, 2003 for the Cleveland Indians
Career statistics
(through 2013 season)
Win-loss record 36–33
Earned run average 3.19
Strikeout 684
Saves 74
Teams

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

Career[edit]

Boston Red Sox[edit]

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[edit]

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.

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

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

Colorado Rockies[edit]

Pitching with the Rockies in 2012

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]

Pitching style[edit]

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.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Players suspended under baseball's steroids policy". espn.com. 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". MLB.com. Retrieved November 24, 2008. 
  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, MLB.com. Published December 7, 2009. Retrieved December 8, 2009.
  5. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (July 4, 2007). "Notes: Betancourt methodical on mound". MLB.com. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 

External links[edit]