Rafael Betancourt's son knew when his dad was ill in July. He advised the trainers to examine him which led to an emergency appendectomy. Asked how his father looked Monday Rafael Jr. smiled. Betancourt who worked a 30-pitch simulated game will throw for Triple-A Colorado Springs on Thursday then plans to rejoin the Rockies on Friday in Baltimore.

"I feel much better. It went really well" said Betancourt who has been sidelined since July 19.

Betancourt 38 lost eight pounds after the surgery and it took time to regain his strength. The right-hander threw three bullpen sessions last week before facing hitters Monday.

It's unclear if he will return to the closer's role. The Rockies like him in that spot because it frees Rex Brothers to pitch the seventh or eighth innings. But the bullpen has struggled.

"Bullpens are weird. Sometimes stuff happens where you get off track. I have confidence in our guys" said Betancourt who will likely draw trade interest this month if he becomes available.