DENVER, CO: Relief pitcher Rafael Betancourt #63 of the Colorado Rockies works the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. The Padres defeated the Rockies 2-1. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
The Colorado Rockies have basically given veteran reliever Rafael Betancourt an extra year of security. Betancourt is to serve as the team's closer in 2012.
Over the offseason, the Colorado Rockies dealt Huston Street to San Diego, clearing the way for reliever Rafael Betancourt to assume the role of closer. The Rockies have not waited to see how Betancourt does before guaranteeing him more money, agreeing Thursday to something of a contract extension. Enrique Rojas (translated):
"Basically, the Rockies executed the mutual option I had in my contract for 2013 and added another in 2014, which guarantees me work for the next two years and the possibility of a third followed in Colorado," said Betancourt to ESPNdeportesLosAngeles.com .
Previously, Betancourt was under contract for $4 million in 2012, with a $4.25 million mutual option for 2013. The Rockies have guaranteed that 2013 salary, and added a $4.25 million mutual option for 2014.
Now, a few things about the 36-year-old righty. He has hit one batter. Ever. Betancourt has faced 2,302 batters over the course of his major league career, and only one of them has been hit. It was Marcus Thames, in Betancourt's tenth game. That was in 2003. Rafael Betancourt has hit one batter since 2003. John Lackey has hit 97.
Betancourt has a career strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.65. Over the course of baseball history, 1,955 pitchers have thrown at least 500 innings. Betancourt's K/BB ranks second ever, right behind Kevin Slowey's 4.70. The Rockies just acquired Slowey not long ago.
Finally, Betancourt is a really slow worker. Last season, he averaged 31.4 seconds between pitches, faster only than Jonathan Papelbon's 31.9. Mark Buehrle basically throws two pitches in the time it takes Rafael Betancourt to throw one. Betancourt's good, but Betancourt's not necessarily the most awesomest pitcher to watch in the world.