Injuries have hampered Dellin Betances’ 2019 campaign. With his return approaching, here’s what the righty can bring to the Yankees.
We’ve heard injury updates from regarding just about everyone (except Jacoby Ellsbury, because who needs that?): Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Gio Urshela, even Jordan Montgomery! There’s one particular pitcher, however, who has *sort of* flown under the radar from return speculation: Dellin Betances.
The Initial Injury
Way back in February, we heard rumblings that the Yankees were attempting to extend Betances. Not surprising, as Betances is all set to hit the open market following 2019. Those talks were halted abruptly, however, when it was announced that Betances had had a shoulder impingement.
Since that moment, Betances has attempted to return not once, but twice. In April, he was shut down with that lingering bone spur in his shoulder, which was to sideline him until June. Then, while rehabbing in June, Betances suffered a lat strain and has been shut down until now.
So overall, Betances has dealt with lat and shoulder problems all year, which makes sense as to why we haven’t seen him all season. Neither injury has cleared up 100%, which has forced Betances to sit on the sidelines this year longer than expected.
Where Is He Now?
Well, it looks like Betances has a real shot of a return soon (cross your fingers). He will pitch for Double-A Trenton on Friday, along with Severino. Ideally, Betances can pitch an inning and feel good, giving the Yankees the best shot they can get for Betances to return relatively soon.
At this rate, it seems plausible that Betances can return within the next few weeks. Assuming there are no more setbacks, this should allow the big righty to get some appearances under his belt before the playoffs.
What Can Betances Bring?
In this case, the rich get richer. Now, I wouldn’t expect Betances to return to 100% strength right away. Naturally, he’s going to take a few outings to really find his groove. However, assuming Betances can be 75% of his full self, the Yankees will add another huge piece to their already formidable bullpen.
The combo of Adam Ottavino, Zack Britton, Aroldis Chapman, and Tommy Kahnle has already dominated the opposition so far this season. Expect the strikeout artist of Betances to only make a great ‘pen more imposing.
Right now, however, it’s a game of patience. Rushing Betances back is unnecessary and simply short-sighted. The Yanks will want to make sure their setup man is fully healthy before letting him loose in 2019.