10 ‘Ifs’ That Can Turn The 2017 New York Yankees Into Champions

4. If … Dellin Betances’ September Struggles Were Caused By Fatigue

Dellin Betances stretch to end his 2016 All-Star campaign was an absolute disaster.

In 11 games pitched in September and October, the 6’8″ right-hander surrendered 10 earned runs in 9.1 innings of work (9.64 ERA) while his opponents slash line (.279/.392/.372) was the highest line against him all year.

Additionally, his 13 surrendered runs in the month were the second-most among major league relievers behind Jeanmar Gomez of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Among starters and relievers, he ranked seventh which is downright terrible when you consider he pitched in 17.1 innings less than the starter ranked in front of him in runs.

It may have been his 73 innings pitched (ninth among AL relievers) catching up to him, and that’s exactly what the Yankees hope is the case.

If Betances can do what he did in the first half of last season, lead MLB in K/9, then Cashman doesn’t even have to bring in one of the top tier closers on the market. Yet, one could bet on either Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, or Mark Melancon in the Bronx by Opening Day.

Therefore, Tyler Clippard (2.49 ERA) for the 2017 season, New York could be one move away from creating another dynamic trio at the end of the bullpen.

The key word is “if” Betances’ struggles is nothing long-term and was only weariness generated by a heavy workload.