The Colorado Rockies announced today that the club has agreed to terms on a contract extension with right-handed relief pitcher Rafael Betancourt through 2013, with an option for 2014.
Betancourt, 36, went 2-0 with 8 saves, 22 holds, a 2.89 ERA (62.1 ip, 20 er), 73 strikeouts and eight walks in 68 games for the Rockies in 2011. The Venezuela native began the season as the setup man before moving into the closer role late in the season, finishing the year going 8-for-12 in save opportunities. He held opponents to a .203 (46-for-277) batting average against on the season, including holding opponents to a .077 (5-for-65) average over the season’s final two months. Among MLB?relievers with at least 25 post-All-Star break appearances, Betancourt led the league in ERA, opponents batting average, strikeout to walk ratio (39.00), hits allowed per 9.0 innings (2.33), base-runners allowed per 9.0 innings (2.67) and WHIP (0.30).
The late-inning reliever, Betancourt has appeared in at least 50 games in each of the last eight seasons since 2004. Following a trade to the Rockies in July of 2009, he immediately became the club’s primary setup man, leading the team with 12 holds and a save down the stretch. A veteran of nine Major League seasons, Betancourt has made 543 appearances with Colorado (2009-11) and Cleveland (2003-09) since his debut in 2003. During his tenure with the Indians, the right-hander went 23-22 with 3.25 ERA (410.0 ip, 148 er). He has 27 career saves and 141 holds. The Rockies acquired Betancourt from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Minor League right-handed pitcher Connor Graham on July 23, 2009.