Yankees reliever Dellin Betances has been working way ahead of schedule, even though he just made his spring debut on Wednesday night.
The 28-year-old reliever, who pitched a scoreless frame with one strikeout and a walk against the Braves, will be making only more appearance in pinstripes on Saturday before leaving camp to join the Dominican Republic team in Miami for the World Baseball Classic starting next Tuesday.
“My breaking ball was good and my fastball was good early,” Betances told the New York Daily News. “Now I’m just trying to work on arm strength because I don’t have that many games until the World Baseball Classic. But my adrenaline will kick in and I’ll be ready.”
Manager Joe Girardi has also been impressed with Betances’ stuff.
“His batting practice and simulated games, they’ve been fabulous,” Girardi said. “I think he’s further ahead than he would be normally, just because he knew he’d be leaving. Just in his velocity and the crispness of his pitches. His curveball looked outstanding today when I saw him throwing. It looked like he was in midseason form.”
Betances, who grew up in New York City, spent time training in the Dominican this offseason, and is excited to represent his family’s roots in the WBC. But he also realizes that an innings limit is important, as he doesn’t want overwork in games that don’t count toward the MLB season.
“It’s No. 1 to represent your country to be united as one to do whatever you can do to help your country win,’’ Betances told the New York Post. “I’ve never played in it, but I can just imagine how great it is going to be.
“You have to be smart. You can’t really try to do more than you are capable of doing because then you are not really helping your team.’’
Betances struck out 126 batters in 73 innings last season.