“Crap” is usually not the word you want to hear when a pitcher is describing how they feel heading into the final weeks of spring training. New York Yankees relief pitcher, Dellin Betances, has struggled in his pitching program this year, failing to make an impact on the mound and even seeing his speed take a dip.
After Sunday’s game, Betances was thrashed in just 0.1 innings with two hits and two earned runs. He was pulled quickly, and the look on his face told the whole story behind his issues.
After performing in a two-inning simulated match, the relief pitcher stated:
“My delivery felt better,’’ Betances said. “That game on Sunday, I was trying to do more and I was out of whack.’’
“I’m still trying to play catch-up a little bit,’’ said Betances, who missed the beginning of camp after the birth of his first child. “I felt like the ball was coming out better [Thursday] and I was pleased with that.’’
It’s possible he was rushed into action and needed a bit more time to strengthen his arm and improve stamina. He clearly hasn’t looked like his normal self, so putting him in a low-stress environment to focus in on his game should help incrementally build his confidence.
Betances has lost between 6-8 MPH off his pitches, which is very concerning, but as pitching coach Rothschild said:
“When the lights come on and the fans are in the stands, I’ll be fine,’’ Betances said. “I’m an adrenaline guy. I like to pitch when it matters more.’’
Luis Severino is scheduled to begin playing catch on Wednesday. Working his way back from an inflamed rotator cuff will take a bit of time, and he’s already been ruled out from the first few games of the regular season.
The Yankees will undoubtedly proceed with caution as their ace fights his way back into the rotation. CC Sabathia, on the other hand, will pitch in a simulated game on Saturday. Both starters will need time to sufficiently get through their pitching program, but the expectation is that they will return in April.