I always try to watch every spring training game. I find them more interesting and enlightening than early regular season games.
Last spring I could see immediately the Yankees made the right decision to put Dellin Betances in the Pen (a move I always hoped they would make).
The 2014 spring game that first comes to mind was vs. Toronto. Joe Girardi brought Dellin in late in the game with bases loaded and one out.
He K’d Bautista & got Encarnacion to pop out to shallow LF. It wasn’t the outcome, but more..how he did it, which impressed the heck out of me.
Here comes a guy with a 100 mph fast ball reputation, and he strikes out Joey Bats on…three straight knee buckling curve balls !!
He gets a called 1st strike on another curve ball to Encarnacion., then blows a fastball by him & finishes him off with another curve that was weakly hit to left.
The fast ball was always there but taking a full wind-up with that 6’8″ frame as a starter created a lot of “moving parts” and a difficulty to repeat his delivery.
Pitching in relief, from the set position with only 2 pitches (Fast ball and curve) to master brought everything together for Dellin.
To say that Betances’ 2014 was one of the greatest seasons by a Yankee Reliever ever, is not hyperbole.
Dellin set the Yankees single season record for most Strike Outs by a Reliever.
His 2014 line…
5 – 0 W/L , 70 Games , 90 Innings , 135 K’s (13.5 K’s per 9 innings) , 1.40 ERA , 0.778 WHIP
There are absolutely no absolutes when it comes to predicting future performances for any pitcher, but I feel confident Dellin Betances will continue to pitch on a high level.
Is it possible that he will lose the feel for his curve ball ?? (which by the way is not a regular curve but a “spiked” curve)
Yes.. especially because it is a knuckle grip with the index finger, (like Mussina & Burnett) but having said that… again, I feel confident he will continue to throw it successfully.
Besides having confidence in him…I find myself rooting very hard for Dellin Betances because …he is truly home grown.
Not only did he come through the farm system but he grew up in N.Y.C .. went to high school in Brooklyn…and was a die hard Yankee fan growing up,
going to games and sitting with the Bleacher Creatures.
As if that isn’t enough, there is another element to his game that I love, and also again, why I find it so easy to root for him.
He performs his job, with a touch of class and professionalism that the Core Four and many of the old time greats exhibited.
There is a humility that reminds me of Mariano Rivera
No crazy fist pumps… no stare downs…nothing.. just like Mo.
It is impossible for me to believe that anyone could ever put a Mariano-like career together,
mainly because no one will ever have the post season appearances,longevity and dominance.
For all we know Betances could fall victim to a torn UCL in his elbow tomorrow. Would anyone be shocked?
He could become a victim of the sophomore jinx.
Dellin Betances has quickly become one of my favorite Yankees …
Home Grown and Easy to Root For !!