Rafael Betancourt has a torn UCL

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It’s not just promising young starting pitchers who need Tommy John surgery. Veteran relievers sometimes do too. The news on Rockies’ reliever Rafael Betancourt:

 

Bad break for Betancourt, who was already on the 15-day disabled list due to the elbow.

This could be the end of the line for Betancourt. He’s almost 39 and he won’t be under contract after this season. If it is the end, he leaves an 11-year career in which he was one of the most reliable and, for some reason, one of the more unheralded setup men (and occasional closers) in the game.

Alex Wood to try pitching out of the stretch

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Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.

Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.

In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”