New York Mets: Dellin Betances Ahead of Schedule From 2020

Sep 26, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) throws the ball during the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Dellin Betances was a shell of his former self during his first season with the New York Mets. Betances had to battle back from shoulder and Achilles injuries in 2019 and never regained his overpowering velocity during 2020. In his first handful of throwing sessions this spring, Betances on track to return as a dominant pitcher.

Betances faced live batters on Friday and had his classic swing and miss stuff. Pete Alonso‘s home run was the only victory hitters took away from their at-bats. Betances slider/curveball combination induced the ugly swings and flinching takes he is accustomed to. The biggest takeaway from the outing is fastball measuring in the low-90s

During last year’s camp, Betances fastball was only in the high 80s, and the COVID layoff made it harder for him to regain his velocity. He had the lowest average fastball velocity of his career at 93.6 mph and struggled even more with his mechanics.  Betances walked a staggering 12 batters in 11.2 innings pitched.

The Mets will need Betances to step up with Seth Lugo starting the season on the injured list. During his prime, Betances had one of the best five-year runs of any reliever in MLB history. If the Mets can get anything close to that level of production, they will have themselves a very reliable group of late-inning relievers.