Yankees pitcher Dellin Betances has been doing what he showed flashes of with the Trenton Thunder of the Eastern League.He’s been a consistent, effective reliever, after the Yankees finally (FINALLY) tossed the blueprint to keep him in a starting role.
Through thirteen innings, Betances has allowed just 3 earned runs in 10 games, struck out 23 batters, allowed 7 walks, and earned his first big league win.
While with the Thunder, Betances was a mercurial starter. He looked like two different pitchers far too often: struggles through the lineup multiple times, trouble controlling that fiery fastball, losing hitters early in the count, that one disastrous inning, walks, command issues…you get the idea.
The flip side was that he could look like a major leaguer on any given day with dazzling results, locating a fastball that could reach the upper 90’s and set hitters down quickly. As his Thunder manager Tony Franklin once said, "You don’t give up on an arm like that." No, you don’t. But you can reconsider what to do with it.
The idea of moving a starter to the bullpen isn’t to give them less innings, but in Betances case the possibility that he could throw strikes more often, in shorter outings, was an intriguing notion. What he needed to do, in any situation, was learn to consistently throw for strikes.
The Yankees decision to move Betances to the pen not only seemed completely right, but completely timely. Why not give him a fresh, and better, opportunity to develop and be successful?
All the things that he showcased on his best days in the Eastern League have been on display with the Yankees this season, even when he’s had difficulties, he’s been effective. The move is so far, so right on time.
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