After welcoming back his former New York Yankees’ teammate, Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances is determined to make it to the sacred World Series.
Subsequently, Betances, who set up for both of them in 2016, watched the series from the sofa for the third time in as many seasons.
“I’ve been here three years and we haven’t really done much,” the 6’8″ reliever told Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News. “We’ve played good baseball, but I want to win. Seeing those guys in the World Series this year, that’s what I want to do. Whatever it takes to get there, I’ll do the best I can.”
Stage one in getting to the promised land was being tag-teamed with Chapman — arguably the game’s most prominent closer.
Chapman, who officially returned to the Bombers on Thursday night, owns the most strikeouts (617) and third-most saves (182) among relievers since 2011 while Betances owns the most strikeouts per nine innings pitched among relievers with 210 appearances since 2014.
While these two will be a nasty tandem until at least 2019 — when Chapman’s contract provided him with an opt-out option — New York’s eighth round pick from 2006 has some proving to do, or stage two.
When Chapman and Miller were sent to the AL and NL pennant winners, Betances did have a terrific commencement to the closer role, converting nine of 10 save opportunities while pitching to a 0.57 ERA from August 1. to September 5.
Suddenly, his production deflated as he would go on to surrender 10 earned runs in seven innings of work (12.86 ERA) for the remainder of the season, while opponents slashed .333/.445/.444 off him.
Betances’ overall 13 surrendered runs in the months of September and October were also the second-most among major league relievers following Jeanmar Gomez of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Among starters and relievers, he ranked seventh which is downright shocking when you recognize he pitched in 17.1 fewer innings than the starter ranked in front of him in runs.
If Betances regress to the form he took in first half of last season, which was a beast that led the game in K/9, then there’s no skepticism that soon enough, he’ll be in the position his former teammates were in just a couple months ago.
Whether or not Betances can reproduce the dominance of Miller and Chapman from the 2016 postseason will soon be discovered. However, now with an ostensible chip on his extremely skilled right shoulder, the two-time All-Star plans to retire the sofa and soak in some glory.