Rafael Betancourt underwent Tommy John elbow surgery in August and the Rockies declined their $4.25 million option on him, but now the two sides have reunited on a minor-league contract.
Before deciding on surgery Betancourt had talked about retiring at age 39, but instead he’ll try to make a comeback in the organization he’s been with since mid-2009.
There’s a slim chance he could be cleared to pitch for Colorado late this season, but odds are he’ll be looking at a 2015 return and the Rockies will be doing him a solid by letting him rehab with them in the meantime. For now he’ll head to extended spring training in Arizona.
Pirates prospect shortstop Cole Tucker stepped up for an injured Erik González on Saturday and wasted little time proving that he was ready to shoulder major-league responsibilities. After starting the game 0-for-2, Tucker pounced on Derek Holland‘s 2-2 sinker and sent it out to center field for a two-run shot in the fifth inning.
Following the tie-breaking blast, Tucker responded to cheers from the crowd with… perhaps a little more ceremony than the occasion required. He was the second of the Pirates’ prospects to record his first major-league hit during the game, as outfielder Bryan Reynolds also hit a single off of Holland in the fourth.
Jung Ho Kang struck out to end the inning, after which a rain delay was called. The Pirates currently lead the Giants 3-1.