It wasn’t long ago when New York Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman was calling Dellin Betances the best pitching prospect the team ever had. While some of that was obvious hyperbole, it was easy to get excited about Betances who stand 6’8” and throws in the mid-to-high 90’s. However, since 2011, Betances has dealt with control issues which have rubbed off some of the shine from his prospect status.
Last year, Betances started the year at Triple-A but was soon sent down to Double-A after posting a 3-5 record, 6.39 ERA, 1.87 WHIP, tossing 13 wild pitches, and walking 69 batters in only 74.2 innings. Things didn’t get much better at Double-A Trenton as Betances posted a 6.51 ERA and 1.81 WHIP and walking 30 in 56.2 innings.
The trouble began in 2011 when Betances was promoted to Triple-A. He walked 15 in 21 innings and posted a 0-3 record, 5.14 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. However, instead of getting better they have only seemed to get worse. This season, Betances is struggling yet again. Through five games Betances is 1-2 with a 7.58 ERA, 1.63 WHIP with 12 walks in 19 innings and has thrown four wild pitches.
At 25-years-old it is hard to consider Betances much of a prospect these days. It has been three years since Betances has shown any promise and he is currently taking up a spot on the 40-man roster. Given all of the injuries that have happened in recent months to the Yankees and the need for serviceable players on the 40-man roster to replace those injured players the Yankees should consider trading Betances.
There is still a lot of talent in Betances’ right arm. IF there wasn’t the Yankees would have given up on him long ago. However, he is having obvious trouble harnessing that talent and making it translate on the mound. It isn’t optimal to trade a once top prospect at the nadir of his value but it could only get worse if he continues to struggle.
There is one thing the Yankees should try first and that is putting Betances in the bullpen. At this point what could it hurt? Perhaps the short notice and the ability to let it fly and go with his best pitches would do wonders for Betances. The rotation is looking like it is not the best place for him and the Yankees owe it to him and themselves to get the best that Betances can bring otherwise they need to move on and stop wasting everyone’s time. It is time for the Yankees to make a decision.