By Nick Villano @nick_villano on July 8, 2014
New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances made the All-Star team in his first full season. He is finally living up to his potential when he was one of the team's Killer B's in the minor leagues. He only posted eight games prior to this season, now, he already has appeared in 37 games. He has posted a 1.55 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP in a bullpen that has saved the Yankees this season. With all that said, he still doesn't deserve to be an All-Star.
As a set-up man, Betances hasn't had a ton of pressure on him this season. He doesn't close very often (in fact, he got his first save on Monday night). Of course, one could argue that there is pressure in the eighth, but not nearly as much as an inning later. There are millions of eyes staring at you during the All-Star game. Can he deal with that kind of pressure when the game actually counts?
One of the reasons that you want Betances on your All-Star team is his sparkling ERA. Even with that said, there are seven relief pitchers who best him in that category. Not one of those players made the team. While it isn't a crime that they chose Betances over the likes of Zach Britton or Wade Davis, it seems there may be some New York bias here.
While David Robertson doesn't have the eye-popping numbers that Betances has, he has had to deal with much harder circumstances. For one, he is the closer. He has had to deal with the media from day one. Besides that, if you take out one bad outing (5 ER in .2 IP), he would have a lower ERA than Betances (1.50 against 1.55). Oh, and there is that little situation of having to replace the greatest closer of all-time in Mariano Rivera.
When you look around the American League, half of the teams have very good eighth inning pitchers. Heck, Darren O'Day of the Baltimore Orioles and Jake McGee of the Tampa Bay Rays have both had better statistical seasons than Betances. It seems like a position that is easier to excel at.
I don't want to discount what Betances has done this season by saying it has all been luck, but when hitters have a .220 average on balls in play, then you have to worry about regression. Only ten pitchers have a lower BABIP against them. This definitely has something to do with his great stuff, but it also has to do with the ball going to the right spot.
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