Former Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Rafael Betancourt retired from baseball on Thursday night, according to a report from Venezuelan sportswriter Gerardo Boscan. The 40-year-old right-handed pitcher was with the Rockies for the final seven years of his professional career.
"It was a decision which took a long time that I was playing with and I saw that was the moment in my career to do it," Betancourt said to Boscan about retiring, speaking about his decision to give up the game for good ahead of this season's spring training.
"Maybe last year was not what I had hoped and they are decisions that you have to take in life and so I took it," the pitcher added.
The reliever also made clear his self-awareness about the situation with interest from big league teams at his age, though he maintains he is healthy.
"I should be aware of myself. I am already 41 years old. It's more a personal decision rather than a physical one," he said to Boscan.
As for his future, Raffy seemed optimistic that there might be a spot for him somewhere in coaching.
"I want to stay tied to baseball," he concluded. "When a proposal comes, I will see."
The soon-to-be 41-year-old was incredibly successful for most of his career with the Rockies, finishing at 15-15 with 58 saves and a 3.53 ERA over 309 games, and logging 7.7 H/9, just 1.8 BB/9 and 10.3 K/9 in 275⅔ innings in Colorado.
Across his entire career, where he also pitched for seven seasons for the Cleveland Indians, Betancourt amassed 75 saves in 680 relief appearances, finishing at 38-37 with a 3.36 ERA over 685⅔ innings pitched. In those 12 seasons, he logged 7.8 H/9, 2.2 BB/9, and 9.5 K/9.
Over at the Denver Post, Nick Groke has a nice rundown of some of Betancourt's numbers put into context.
We wish Raffy the best in his life after baseball.