Rockies worried Rafael Betancourt has serious elbow injury

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Colorado’s decision not to trade 38-year-old closer Rafael Betancourt may be a costly one, as he left last night’s game with an elbow injury.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post speculates that it’s a serious injury–and specifically a torn ulnar collateral ligament–because “several teammates quietly patted him on the back” and “the gravity of the moment was powerful.”

He’ll undergo further testing, but a torn UCL would require Tommy John surgery and knock Betancourt out for most or perhaps all of next season. And at age 38 that might end his career.

Betancourt’s contract includes a $4.25 million mutual option for 2014, which the Rockies likely would have exercised. If he’s hurt they’ll no doubt decline the option, paying him a $250,000 buyout.

Ronald Acuña Jr. reaches a rare home run milestone

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Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. hit his 40th home run in today’s 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. In so doing he become only the third player to hit 40 homers at age 21 or younger, joining Hall of Famers Mel Ott and Eddie Matthews, who hit 42 and 47, respectively, before turning 22. Ott was only 20 in fact.

Home run marks are a dime a dozen this year, of course, so maybe you want to discount Acuña’s accomplishment. Even if you do, though, you can’t discount his wheels. He didn’t have a stolen base this afternoon but he does have 37 on the year and has over a week to swipe three more. If he does he’ll become a member of the exclusive 40/40 club. It’s only current members: Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano.

The Braves win clinches at least a tie for the NL East title. They’ll clinch the division outright if either they win or the Nationals lose tomorrow.