Comeback complete: Rafael Betancourt makes the Rockies

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Coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery at age 40 is a tall order, but Rafael Betancourt was up to the task and the Rockies announced that the veteran reliever will be on the Opening Day roster.

Betancourt was the Rockies’ closer when his elbow gave out in 2013, but didn’t appear in the majors at all last season and got knocked around in limited action at Triple-A.

However, he posted a 1.04 ERA in nine appearances this spring while showing good velocity and will rejoin the bullpen in a setup role for one of the few pitchers in baseball older than him, 42-year-old closer LaTroy Hawkins.

It’s tough to know what to expect from Betancourt considering he may have declined sharply at his age even without the elbow surgery, but for a decade he was one of the best, most underrated relievers in baseball with a 3.19 ERA and 684 strikeouts in 646 innings.