Rafael Betancourt injury: Rockies place closer on 15-day DL, designate Edgmer Escalona for assignment

Andrew Fielding-US PRESSWIRE

Colorado's closer landed on the DL for the third time this season. If his injury is as bad as the team fears, the 38-year-old right-hander might not return.

The Colorado Rockies placed relief pitcher Rafael Betancourt on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right elbow, the team announced on Friday. The Rockies also designated fellow reliever Edgmer Escalona for assignment in an unrelated move.

For more on the Rockies, head over to Purple Row.

Betancourt was pulled in the ninth inning of Colorado's 5-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday after allowing the game-tying run on an infield single. The 38-year-old closer initially felt pain after his blown save against the Phillies on Wednesday, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, but tried to pitch through it.

The Rockies fear Betancourt might have torn his ulnar collateral ligament, which would result in season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Rex Brothers, who took over closing duties for the Rockies during Betancourt's two previous DL stints, converted his 12th save in 13 chances on Friday in a win over the Miami Marlins.

Betancourt has posted a 4.08 ERA with 16 saves for Colorado in 2013. For the third straight season, he has seen an increase in his walk rate while facing a decline in strikeouts.

Escalona, 26, struggled to the tune of a 5.67 ERA while allowing eight home runs in 46 innings of work. The right-hander has a career 4.50 ERA in 78 big-league appearances.

The Rockies also activated starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin from the bereavement list on Friday and recalled reliever Rob Scahill from Triple-A Colorado Springs.

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