Rockies or bust for rehabbing Rafael Betancourt

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Rafael Betancourt is trying to come back from Tommy John elbow surgery at age 38 and could miss the entire season, but whenever he does return he wants it to be with the Rockies.

Colorado declined his $4.25 million option for 2014, making Betancourt a free agent, but the right-hander told Troy Renck of the Denver Post: “If I pitch again, it will be with the Rockies. I can’t see myself anywhere else at this point in my career.”

That’s despite reported interest from other teams, including the Dodgers, who’d no doubt want to sign Betancourt to an incentive-laden deal with a team option for 2015.

Pirates set to promote top prospect Mitch Keller

Mitch Keller
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MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo reports that the Pirates will promote top pitching prospect Mitch Keller in advance of their doubleheader against the Reds on Monday. Confirmation of the move is still pending an official announcement, but Keller will reportedly face off against Sonny Gray in Game 2.

Keller, 23, is currently listed as the Pirates’ no. 1 prospect and the no. 16 overall prospect in the league, per MLB.com. He was selected in the second round of the 2014 amateur draft and has spent the last six years refining his technique in Pittsburgh’s farm system, where he recently made the jump to Triple-A Indianapolis in 2018. So far this season, he’s 5-0 in nine starts with a 3.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, and 10.7 SO/9 through 47 innings.

It’s not clear how long of a leash the Pirates will give Keller, though given the current state of their rotation — down to four serviceable starters with Jameson Taillon on the 60-day injured list (right elbow flexor strain), Trevor Williams on the 10-day IL (right side strain), and a handful of replacements yet to impress — they may be inclined to keep him on a little longer than his spot start requires.