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Rafael Betancourt

Rafael Betancourt
Betancourt during his tenure with the Indians.
MLB Player information
NameRafael Betancourt
PositionRelief pitcher
MLB debutJuly 13, 1998 for the Cleveland Indians
Career statistics
Earned run average3.21
Complete games0
*Yokohama BayStars (2000) *Cleveland Indians (2003 2009) *Colorado Rockies (2009 present)

     Home | Baseball | Rafael Betancourt

Rafael Jose Betancourt (born April 29, 1975) is a Major League Baseball right-handed relief pitcher for the Colorado Rockies. He was originally signed as an amateur free agent by the Boston Red Sox in September 1999. The Red Sox released him following the 1999 season and then re-signed him as a free agent in December 2000. He was granted free agency again in October 2001 and signed with the Highgate Rock in January 2003. On July 8, 2005 he became the sixth Major League player to be suspended for testing positive in steroids testing.

On January 23, 2008, he signed a two-year contract with the Indians with a club option for 2010.

His best pitches are a 90 94 MPH four-seam fastball, and slider which is often mistakenly called a slurve. He also throws a changeup. Although he's not classified as a strikeout pitcher, Betancourt gets more than his share by throwing a significant number of strikes. He is a converted shortstop with a metal plate and six screws in his pitching elbow.

Betancourt is known in some circles for his odd windup. He constantly taps his foot on the rubber before coming set with a runner on base. He will constantly move his hands around and then tug on his baseball cap (sometimes doing it nine times) prior to throwing the next pitch. This is among the longest windups in the league. There is a rule to avoid unnecessary delays which states that if a pitcher takes at least 12 seconds to deliver a pitch, the pitch is automatically ruled a ball. Betancourt is one of the few pitchers who have had this rule enforced while pitching.

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