by Dave De Wit
Only in sports is the ailing groin of a 38- year old so intriguing. Colorado Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt left Tuesday night’s game with a groin injury, leaving his health and the Rockies’ closer situation in question.
After an MRI, Betancourt’s groin appears to be OK and he is expected to play in tonight’s game in San Francisco, but can we really trust this old man to stay healthy? The man was born the same year the series premiere of The Jeffersons aired! If Betancourt has a set-back this weekend and shows that he is still being bothered by this injury, he will likely hit the DL. If that happens, you’ll need to own his replacement, especially if saves are hard to come by in your league. Who will that be, though?
If Rafael Betancourt health problems continue, here’s who you need to grab:
It may be too late to get Tyrannosaurus Brothers (T-Bro for short, T-Rex is just too easy) in your league since he filled in for Betancourt and got a quick-n-easy save on Wednesday, but if he’s still out there for any reason pick him up now. For those new to Rex Brothers, he’s had one of the best strikeout percentages (career 30.4 K% entering this season) in all of baseball, but has always been held back by his horrible career walk percentage of 12.2% entering this season. However, T-Bro has vastly improved his command this year posting a 9.5 BB% without sacrificing too many Ks (25 K%).
If Betancourt stays healthy, Brothers would prove valuable to a fantasy team anyway because his elite strikeouts and impressive ERA and WHIP. If Brothers were to become the closer, he could immediately be a top-five closer on par with Chapman and Kimbrel.
While Brothers got the fill-in save, it wasn’t because manager Walt Weiss chose Brothers over Lopez. Lopez was unavailable after pitching the two previous days, so there’s a chance that he could still be the guy if Betancourt goes down. Add in the fact that he’s a “proven” closer after saving 10 games for the Astros last year and that he’s right-handed, and he’s at least worth picking up if you missed out on T-Bro.
Lopez’s skills are quite on par with Brothers’, but he has shown elite command with his career 4.1 BB%. His career 17.8 K% gives hope that his pathetic strikeout percentage through this year will improve as the season progresses. He has also shown that he can induce a huge number of groundballs (career 55.1 GB%) while giving up few fly balls (career 25.3 FB%), which will be very helpful in the elevated atmosphere of Coors Field.