New York Yankees reliever Dellin Betances indicated that his fastball won’t be at full strength until the second month of the 2019 season.
The 30-year-old is so aggravated, in fact, that he’s taken to answering the pesky velocity questions in the third person:
“I won’t be all the way until May,’’ Betances told the New York Post’s George A. King III. “I have done this already. It’s always been a topic. Whenever Dellin Betances is throwing 88 to 90 everybody freaks out and panics.’’
Despite the pedestrian pitch speed—which maxed out at 93 mph in his most recent outing—Betances hasn’t allowed a hit or issued a walk in two spring innings.
He’s even racked up two strikeouts with his diminished stuff.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone told King that seeing his ace reliever’s radar-gun readings threw him for a loop. However, he’s not worried.
“Not overly concerned [about] the other day other than it caught me off-guard a little bit. I think he feels fine. It’s just a matter of building arm strength and when he had to leave here to go home for the birth of his kid that slowed him a little bit. At this point I am not too concerned about it.’’
Betances, a four-time MLB All-Star with a career 2.36 ERA, started training several days after the other Bombers’ pitchers. That delay combined with the pressures of being a new father and negotiating a possible contract extension could be taking a toll.
Perhaps the main point of this story, though, is that poor little Dellin Betances Jr. is quickly developing into a scapegoat for his daddy’s mound issues.