Rafael Betancourt will enter the 2013 season with the Colorado Rockies looking to achieve several things. He will attempt to improve on his 31 saves from a year ago while looking for one final contract at age 38. He may find that getting to 31 saves again is tough sledding, but he has proven in his career that he can be one of the best relief pitchers in all of MLB.
Betancourt was 1-4 in 2012 with a 2.81 ERA and 57 strikeouts in just under 58 innings. There is no reason to doubt anything about him and the ability he has out of the bullpen. The Rockies are going to need to have some leads late in games, though, for him to save a ton of games. Colorado does have all their stars healthy this season and that will help him.
I only worry about Betancourt for one reason and that’s his age. He is 38 years old and while we have seen closers pitch into their 40s, he has only done this job for one full season.
I would feel better about him if he had this job for many years, but he was a set-up man for most of his career before 2012. He is also in the final year of his contract, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Rockies trade him at the deadline to get some prospects for the future.
Betancourt can start the 2013 season knowing that his job is very safe with the Rockies though and he just needs to pitch well enough to earn that next contract in Colorado or get traded to a contender.