The New York Yankees are waiting for the return of flamethrowing reliever Dellin Betances and he faces a big hurdle on Wednesday.
Although he’s yet to pitch in 2018 due to a bone spur and right lat strain, Lindsey Adler of The Athletic reports that the righty is scheduled to throw a “long side session” on Wednesday. Additionally, he threw a side session on Tuesday and is scheduled to face hitters on Thursday.
This is tremendous news for a team that figures to rely heavily on its bullpen in the postseason. The exact timetable for Betances’ return is unclear.
The four-time All-Star has a career 2.36 ERA, but perhaps the stat that best encapsulates Betances is his career 14.6 strikeouts per nine innings. The Washington Heights native is a strikeout machine when he has his command.
Whenever he eventually returns to the 25-man roster, Betances will join a stockpile of nasty arms in the bullpen. Aroldis Chapman is pitching as well as any closer in baseball.
Entering Wednesday, New York holds an overwhelming 10-game lead in the loss column over the Tampa Bay Rays. However, the team is still pushing for home-field advantage in the postseason.
New York (83-44) is currently tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in baseball. The Houston Astros (81-46) are just two games behind both clubs.