Aside from maybe Yangervis Solarte, 26-year-old right hander Dellin Betances has been the most pleasant surprise for the New York Yankees. In a time when the pitching staff is ravished by injuries Betances has stepped up and become a bright spot for the bullpen. The once coveted starter now turned reliever has been punishing batters all season with his electric 97 MPH fastball and literal unhittable curveball. Last night’s performance was his most dominate to date, in 2.1 innings of perfect ball Betances recorded seven straight outs, six via strikeout. Of the 27 pitches thrown, 20 went for strikes, and eight of them were swings and misses. His knuckle/curveball was buckling hitters, striking out four batters looking including David Wright and Curtis Granderson in the sixth inning.
Betances’ numbers have been impressive thus far. Batters are hitting .065 against his curveball with 33 strikeouts. He is 2-0 in 16 appearances and 22.1 innings pitched, but his overall pitching lines are equally impressive. He’s held batters to just 12 hits, nine walks while striking out 39. He’s rocking a 1.61/0.81/1.22 tripleslash with 0.940 WHIP. His 15.7K/9 ratio is one of the best among qualified relievers so far this year.
Since he was moved into the bullpen Betances simplified things, cutting is arsenal down to just two main pitches, and it has worked wonders. He looks like he could be the future of the Yankees bullpen, if things continue down this path we could be looking at the next Yankee closer. Manager Joe Girardi was asked about Betances’ future and had this to say “I don’t want to get too far ahead of how we project where he’ll be, but I will say this….he has a gift.”
However you want to define last night’s mind altering performance is up to you, but I will leave you with this gif of Betances making Albert Pujols look silly last week in Anaheim. Digest it however you like, but the Yankees have something special going with Betances and let’s hope it stays that way.