Former Colorado Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt, whose season was ended by Tommy John surgery last year, is still hoping to come back and pitch in 2014.
Most teams have assumed that the veteran free agent will be out for the entire season. Betancourt is still determined to return sooner than that, something that the Rockies claim to be open to. As such, the 38-year-old will spend a ten day stint with the team starting Sunday. Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports:
‘I want to pitch this season. My goal hasn’t changed,’ Betancourt, 38, told The Post on Tuesday. ‘I don’t want to rush anything or have any setbacks. But everything has been positive so far.’
Betancourt is a free agent. He has been throwing from 90 feet without issue, another hurdle cleared in his road back. After his camp stint, Betancourt is expected to join the Rockies for practice in Miami during their season-opening series. Bringing the right-hander back on a minor-league deal remains a possibility, even though he wouldn’t be ready to pitch until August.”
If Betancourt knew in more solid terms that he could pitch this season, more teams than the Rockies would likely be interested. As it stands now, it looks like Betancourt will rehab and go through the process almost as if he were still officially on the Rockies with the hopes of pitching for them this season.