Rafael Betancourt: Man of Many Roles For the Colorado Rockies

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona - Throughout the course of nine seasons in the Major Leagues, and many more in the world of baseball, Rafael Betancourt has been many things: infielder, then he was turned to pitcher; a starter, a reliever.

But now he's facing yet another challenge: becoming a full-time closer. He proved to the Rockies he could do the job in mid-August after assuming the role due to an emergency with Huston Street.

But he's also a mentor and a quiet leader for several pitchers.

"Raffy has been like a father to me ever since I got here," said reliever Edgmer Escalona, also a Venezuelan. "He has taught me many things as a pitcher and a person, he has straightened me out so many times. I will always be thankful to him for orienting for all these years now".

Betancourt, always a professional, says he knows there are things yet to work on.

"I always try to pitch as many strikes as possible, and I'll do whatever is necessary in order to achieve that. I want to keep on having reasons to have my confidence whenever I step into the mound. You want to [get] batters out throughout the season. Well, Spring Training is the chance to work on your repertoire so you then use it in the best way possible," Betancourt said.

A respected trio

For many years, Betancourt has had the indirect role of leading the way for Escalona and many others. However, this season he won't be alone: the arrival of Marco Scutaro and Ramón Hernández not only provides the Rockies with three veterans with character, but for the 37-year-old hurler, this closes out a few circles.

"It's very special for me having Marco and Ramon with us, not just because they are Venezuelan. Ramón and I played together when we were kids back in our native city of Cumaná. Both Marco and I were rookies at the Venezuelan League some years ago with Caribes de Oriente in the winter. Marco always performs like the best of them. And that's always been the way he plays ever since we belonged to the same club in Venezuela. I'm so proud to have them next to all of us, and I'm glad to count with them at this stage of my career," Betancourt said.

"I'm absolutely sure everybody will get along with them. They are amazing ballplayers but most of all, they are excellent people you can count on."

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Purple Row

You must be a member of Purple Row to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Purple Row. You should read them.

Join Purple Row

You must be a member of Purple Row to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Purple Row. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker