Dellin Betances, the New York Mets‘ stellar free agent signing for the bullpen, isn’t concerned about his velocity loss this spring.
What’s more, he remains confident that he will be ready to help the Mets since day one. To this date, he hasn’t appeared on any spring training games, but he’s progressing nicely.
“That’s the goal,” the hurler said to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. He pitched one inning in a simulated game Tuesday.
“(Opening day) was my goal all offseason, and I’ve worked really hard to get to this point. I don’t see why it wouldn’t be realistic.”
Last season was a lost one for Betances, and injuries are to blame. He suffered a shoulder ailment, and when he came back in September, he tore his Achilles tendon in his first game back.
The tear, thankfully, was partial, otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to even entertain being ready for opening day as a possibility. If he hadn’t been injured, he would have been in line for a multi-year contract as one of MLB’s best relievers from 2014 to 2018. Instead, he signed with the Mets for $10.5 million for one year. Incentives and options could extend the pact and pay him more.
Getting closer to helping the Mets
The former Yankees pitcher getting closer: he could be just days away from making his debut for the New York Mets. However, some scouts have noted his once elite fastball velocity hover around the low 90s, according to estimates.
Betances thinks that the velocity will return over time as he builds strength. “I’ve known myself for a long time,” Betances said. “I know right now, it’s not coming out the way it would come out during the season. It takes me a little bit to get that going, but I know everything’s been good. … We have enough time for that.”