The Yankees bullpen strikes fear into the heart of opposing batters, but now they can no longer trust Dellin Betances coming out of the pen.
2018 has not looked like the beginning of a bounce-back year for Dellin Betances.
The once elite right-hander threw two innings, giving up two runs, and allowing FOUR stolen bases, including a straight steal of home while taking the loss in the Yankees 5-3 loss to Toronto Saturday. It’s the same issues that plagued Betances at the end of last season; his inability to hold runners on, throw strikes, and a seemingly weak mental approach.
Dating back to last season, Betances has now allowed nine runs over his last 12.2 innings while giving up four home runs and walking eight.
Betances has already surrendered two home runs in his first two appearances in 2018. Luckily the Yankees were up 5-0 on opening day when he gave up the homer to Kevin Pillar. He wasn’t as lucky Saturday when Yangervis Solarte hit a 455 ft home run to center to give Toronto a 4-3 lead in the 8th and ultimately the victory.
The repetition of mechanics and holding runners on in something every pitcher is taught at an early age, yet Betances can’t seem to figure it out. Pillar wound up reaching base against the righty again on Saturday and ended swiping home on a straight steal. Betances’ answer to this, throwing a fastball to the backstop.
His mechanics and holding runners on are things that can be corrected on the side, but, his mentality on the mound is very worrisome. Last season, Betances admitted that his issues originally stemmed from a mechanical flaw but then it became mental, and it has now carried on into this season. It’s very alarming that he hasn’t been able to shake it off.
“I know my stuff is there,” said Betances in a postgame interview, “it’s just a matter of being able to control the situations a little better.”
Again, insinuating his issues are more of a mental flaw.
The Yankees can no longer place trust in Betances, and while Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone have voiced that they still have faith in the former all-star, you can’t help but wonder if his days as a Yankee are numbered.
“We will continue to work with him and believe in him and continue to need him in big situations,” said Boone according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
This sounds eerily familiar to what the Yankees did with Tyler Clippard just a season ago.
Yes, Betances is loads better than Clippard, however, he has simply become a liability a World Series contender cannot afford, regardless of how good his stuff is or what he has done in the past.
The Blue Jays exploited Betances’ flaws in a major way and now with the scouting report out on Betances, the rest of the league is sure to follow the same script and take full advantage of the righties flaws.
With Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson, and Aroldis Chapman forming a more than formidable bullpen it might be best for the Yankees to explore the option of trading the all-star while he still has some value. A bit impulsive for a team that is fresh off of a rebuild and still developing young guys? Maybe, but with so much talent and such high expectations, there is just no room to give Betances to get himself right. It’s World Series or bust for Yankees and Betances is no longer helping this team get to their ultimate goal.
With the big right-hander being out of options any work that he does do has to be done at the major league level. So strap in Yankees fans, you may very well see more of what occurred Saturday afternoon.