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Colorado Rockies closer and long time setup man Rafael Betancourt's career in jeopardy

The Colorado Rockies have had their fair share of bad luck this season. After starting very hot in April, the Rockies has been rather abysmal.  The Rockies find themselves 11 games under .500 and 17 games back of the division leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

All of that seemed irrelevant Thursday night for fans and the team. Rockies' closer Rafael Betancourt would suffer a serious elbow injury while trying to complete a save in the 9th inning against the Philadelphia Phillies. After last night, Betancourt would admit his elbow was bothering him since Wednesday night. Being the strong competitor he is, he tried to power through the soreness and that might of been his down fall. This is what Betancourt would say after the injury last night:

"I have gone through a lot of pain throughout my whole career, but this is completely different. I could not throw another pitch. Sometimes you have soreness after you pitch. Last night was different while I was pitching. It was weird. And it was a little sore after the game. Today, I was sore, but you know, I was warming up and I thought I could get get through it. I figured I had one more pitch in me. Either get him out and game over, or come out of the game. I thought I could do it. If I throw one more pitch after that it was going to be really bad."

The fear the Rockies and Betancourt have is that Betancourt has torn ligaments in his elbow. He is scheduled for a MRI on Monday to get the verdict. If their fears come to fruition, he is very likely to require Tommy John surgery. This is no minor surgery. It generally takes 9-12 months of rehabilitation after the surgery for a pitcher to begin pitching again. 

This puts the pitcher in a really tough position. The Rockies planned to exercise a team option on Betancourt for $4.25 million for the upcoming season. However, that will most likely not happen now. At Betancourt's age of 38 and potentially missing all of the 2014 season, calling it a career might be the most logical thing to do for Betancourt.

If that is the case, Betancourt should be proud the of the strong career he had for the Cleveland Indians and the Colorado Rockies. Betancourt has accumulated 142 holds, 74 saves with an ERA of 3.19 in 11 seasons as a reliever. He has been truly one of the most dependable relievers the last decade. 

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