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Betancourt's son alerts staff of closer's appendicitis

Betancourt's son alerts staff of closer's appendicitis

Betancourt's son alerts staff of closer's appendicitis

DENVER -- Almost every day is "Bring Your Child to Work Day" for Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt. And it was good that his son, Rafael, was in the Coors Field clubhouse Friday afternoon.

Betancourt was sick Thursday night, but figured he could tough it out and show up for Friday's game against the Cubs. Fortunately for him, his 10-year-old son told on him to the Rockies' medical staff. Not long thereafter, Betancourt underwent an appendectomy, apparently just in time, and the Rockies placed him on the 15-day disabled list.

"Actually his son came in and said, 'Hey, my dad was sick last night,'" Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said. "Raffy was stubborn, didn't want to come in to see me. But he said he got sick multiple times the night before, but felt better. He was actually working out, so I said, 'Let's take a look at you.'

"We looked at him. Scotty [Gehret, the assistant trainer] looked at him. He was sore on the lower right quadrant. For us, that's a key sign of a possible appendicitis."

Recovery time is not as long as it was before modern surgery. It's possible Betancourt could be ready in two to three weeks. Left-hander Rex Brothers will take over as closer, righty Matt Belisle will be the primary setup man, and righty Mitchell Boggs was called up from Double-A Tulsa. The former Cardinals setup man and closer could quickly find himself in a key role.

It's the second DL trip this season for Betancourt, who missed 25 games in June with a right groin strain. He is 2-3 with 15 saves in 16 opportunities with a 3.16 ERA.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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