Betancourt announced his retirement from Major League Baseball on Friday, LiderEndeportes.com reports. The 40-year-old played 12 seasons in the majors, splitting his career between the Indians (2003-09) and Rockies (2009-15) and posting a career 3.36 ERA across 685.2 cumulative innings. Betancourt appeared in 10 career postseason games, highlighted by five appearances in the 2007 ALCS, which Cleveland ultimately lost to Boston.
The Rockies have designated veteran reliever Rafael Betancourt for assignment, possibly ending the pitcher's career, per the Denver Post. Betancourt was 2-4 with one save and a 6.18 ERA in 45 games for the Rockies this season. He told the paper that he was considering retirement after 12 MLB seasons with the Cleveland and Colorado. The Rockies also recalled right-handed pitcher Jairo Diaz and selected the contract of right-hander Simon Castro.
The Rockies have made a change in the back-end of their bullpen. Manager Walt Weiss has removed John Axford from the closer's role, after he record his fifth blown save of the season, and fourth in a row on Thursday. "I had a conversation with John a little earlier and I told him I was going to get him out of that ninth inning for a little bit and let him catch his breath," Weiss said Friday, per The Denver Post. Axford, who once saved 46 games in a season, got off to a blazing start in 2015. He had converted each of his first 12 save opportunities and gave up just one earned run over his first 20 appearances. But he has struggled lately, posting a whopping 12.15 ERA over his past nine outings. "I'm not so bullheaded as to say that I want to pitch in the ninth inning and that's how it has to be," Axford said. "I have pitched in other innings and I've had success in other innings. A lot of my success has come in the ninth, but that's also where some of the pain comes. "Stepping away definitely could be beneficial. It's worked before for me. It worked in 2012." Weiss indicated he will likely go with a closer-by-committee approach, with the likes of Rafael Betancourt, Tommy Kahnle and Justin Miller as potential ninth-inning options. "We have a few different options down there, so it will probably come down match-ups and who is available," Weiss said. "So there will be a few different guys throwing at the end."
The Rockies activated reliever Rafael Betancourt before Friday's game, per the Denver Post. Betancourt has been on the disabled list with vertigo and just completed a minor league rehab assignment. The team hasn't announced a corresponding move to make room for Betancourt, but it appears that the team will go with a nine-man bullpen for the near future.
Rockies reliever Rafael Betancourt (vertigo) will likely be activated during a three-game series against the Giants, which starts Friday, manager Walt Weiss said Thursday. Betancourt, who is on the 15-day disabled list, began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque on Sunday. He allowed two runs on two hits and one walk in 1 1/3 innings. He struck out two.
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