This time last year, Dellin Betances did what seemed to be the impossible: with no options remaining, he was able to win a job out of Spring Training and stay on the roster for the entire season. He became the set-up man to David Robertson, made the All-Star team as a rookie and beat Mariano Rivera‘s strikeout record in a single season. Fast forward to a year later and many wonder where’s the Dellin Betances of last year. He’s given up at least a run in every outing and many are concerned with his fastball. Well, everyone except for Brian Cashman.
“The Betances ‘Where has his velocity gone?’ story is not accurate,” Cashman told the media yesterday. “He’s actually averaging a mile (per hour) higher at this time this spring than last spring. If it’s apples to apples, then he’s right where he was last year. Obviously his performance in the spring is different than the arm strength, but the arm strength is not the issue. Just want to make sure everybody knows that.”
Betances was a game changer during the late innings last season, but the Yankees aren’t going to hold his rough spring against him. In his sophomore year with the team, the Yankees plan on keeping him in the late inning mix, but many question if he’ll be as effective against Major League hitters this season. Every team has seen enough of Betances to make a scouting report on him and if other teams can find cracks in Betances’s armor, it might not be a good thing for the Yankees.
“You just want to make sure it doesn’t affect the confidence,” Cashman said. “I’ve been able to at least confirm for myself that he’s very confident, which is good. Spring Training is Spring Training and sample sizes are small. I thought he was much better (in a minor league game on Saturday).”