The Colorado Rockies and closer Rafael Betancourt had an MRI done to confirm what both parties feared worst. Betancourt has a torn ligament in his right elbow.
It is believed that the closer injured his elbow last Wednesday against the Phillies. Though he didn't know how serious it was at the time, Betancourt felt something very odd. The next night, Betancourt tried to power through the pain to get the save for the Rockies. That might have been his downfall. Betancourt couldn't even throw the ball due extreme tightness in the elbow and was forced to walk off the mound last Thursday night.
When a pitcher tears a ligament as Betancourt has, the road to recovery is a rather lengthy process. The injury generally requires the infamous Tommy John surgery, which entails 9-12 month of rehab after surgery.
For Betancourt, at age 38, that isn't a desirable option.
"At my age, trying to come back at nearly 40, I don't know if I can do that," Betancourt would say.
Rather than attempt Tommy John surgery, Betancourt will try platelet-rich plasma treatment for his elbow. Betancourt received the same treatment for an injured groin earlier in the year. This treatment is much less strenuous and time consuming that Tommy John surgery, but it is somewhat of a long shot to work.
If the Venezuelan pitcher is unable to come back, he will ultimately retire. The Rockies will lose not only their closer, but a fantastic person in the clubhouse.