In a season where pitching is the New York Yankees biggest question, one pitcher has been one big help for the team out of the bullpen all season long, Dellin Betances.
The 26-year-old right handed reliever was drafted as a starter, but had control issues when going deep into the games, so the franchise took his pitching abilities to the bullpen. So far it has paid off well for the team, as he has even been voted into this year’s all star game. In a game against the Boston Red Sox, he pitched two innings when setting up for closer David Robertson and hit 101 on the radar gun.
Betances’ command and confidence have been on display all season long. In the first four months, he has pitched in 48 games for 65.1 innings, striking out an unbelievable 96 batters. With two months left, and the team still in the American League playoff race picture, they will need that big arm of his to come up in big moments time and time again.
If Betances were to perform at the top of his game for the remainder of the season, he will put the Yankees in some tough territory. Say what you will about Robertson and his year in the closer role, but nobody can compare him to the great Mariano Rivera. It is hard enough he takes the role after the player that is regarded as the best to ever play the role.
Robertson is still having a good year with 28 saves to go with two blown saves. His ERA (2.81) and K/BB ratio (69/14) is still very respectable. However, given Betances performance all year round, the Yankees may be forced to choose between these two for the closer role in 2015. Either way, they have something great going on in the back end of the bullpen, and that should come of great use while in the playoff chase.