New York Mets Player Evaluations: Pitcher Dellin Betances

Dellin Betances was the big signing the New York Mets made last offseason to bolster their struggling bullpen. In his first season in Queens, injuries and lack of spring training held him back from reclaiming his role as one of the best relievers in baseball.

After three scoreless and walkless outings to opening up his season, Betances struggled to complete entire innings. As usual, Betances still needed a few outings to regain his upper 90s velocity and reign in his breaking ball. Unfortunately, we never saw the consistent high velocity, and Betances had trouble finding the strike zone.

Betances made 10 more outings before heading to the injured list with a right lat injury. In those 8.1 innings, he allowed seven runs and seven walks. While he did not allow an extra-base hit, combining eight hits with those walks led to bad outings.

Betances stint on the IL lasted just under a month, and he returned to pitch twice before the season ended. Both outings were typical of his season, one scoreless with two walks and the other allowing three runs. Betances had more outings where he allowed a walk than ones without a free pass.

Reasons For Struggles

Throughout his career, Betances has been known for his lack of velocity early in the season. Combining the lack of outings he made in 2019 due to injury and the lack of a full, healthy spring camp was something Betances did not adjust to well. Betances had the worst strikeout and walk rates of his career six consecutive seasons of double-digit K/9 numbers.

A positive for Betances is continuing to limit the home runs against him (0). Finishing the season with a 7.71 ERA gave Betances no choice but to use his option year to return for 2021. After two seasons riddled with injuries and dealing with a wacky season, Betances should right himself with a fully healthy offseason and spring training.

2020 Grades On 20-80 Scale (2021 Projection)

4-Seam Fastball: 45 (60), Lowest average velocity of his career and a 13.2% whiff rate, also the worst of his career.

Curveball: 40 (50), Used to be a major weapon for him and lagged as a strikeout pitch.

Slider: 55 (65), Only threw 24 of them but hitters only batted .231 against it. It should be interesting to see how he balances the curve and slider in 2021.

Command: 20 (50), Never been a control artist but is much better than he was in 2020.

Overall: 20 (55), Betances may not return to being an All-Star, but he still has plenty of good years left in him.

New York Mets: Betances, Brach Opt In and Stroman Gets Qualifying Offer

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Marcus Stroman

The New York Mets have had a busy couple of days as they try to revitalize their roster after a disappointing 2020. As expected, Dellin Betances and Brad Brach, both underachieving relievers, exercised their offers for the 2021 season. The Mets also gave the $18.9 million qualifying offer to Marcus Stroman.

Betances is coming off another injury-plagued season where he gave up 10 runs in 11.2 innings pitched. He also never found his velocity as his 93.6 mph average fastball was the lowest of his career. Combine those numbers with the 12 walks he allowed, and it equaled a pitcher who could not be used.

The upside about giving Betances an option year was the ability to bring him back if he struggled. There is no market for Betances to make $6 million if guys like Brad Hand were being released for making $10 million. Betances will get a fully healthy offseason and spring training to return to his All-Star form. This could be an investment that works out for both parties.

Brach is Back

Brach was another pitcher who had to deal with time on the injured list. He started the season on the sidelines after testing positive for COVID-19, and like Betances, he struggled to limit the walks. Brach had a 5.84 ERA and walked 14 in 12.1 innings pitched.

In 2019, Brach was a low-risk addition to their bullpen, and it paid off for the Mets. As another veteran who did not adjust well to the shortened season, the Mets should be confident in his ability to return to a useful reliever. Brach is certainly a good option to deepen the bullpen after bringing in a couple of quality arms.

Stro-Show Back in Queens?

Stroman’s return to the Mets likely will not happen off the qualifying offer. After Trevor Bauer, Marcus Stroman is the best option on the starting pitcher free-agent market. $18.9 million is slightly lower than the per year value Stroman is aiming for, but if he was getting six years with that amount, I think he would accept that deal. The big question mark is how much of a risk teams want to take on him after spending a season injured and then opting not to play due to “safety concerns.”

If Stroman accepts the qualifying offer, he is banking on his 2021 to parlay it into a lucrative deal. It is doubtful that he accepts with teams like the Los Angeles Angels are desperately looking for good starting pitching. Do not count the Mets out of the Stroman sweepstakes if he declines the QO. The Mets need the starting pitching as well, and Stroman is perfectly suited to pitch in New York. Slotting him in the rotation with Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard gives the Mets a formidable top-3.

New York Mets: Dellin Betances undecided about his future

New York Yankees, Dellin Betances

On Christmas Eve of 2019, the New York Mets revealed a “gift” to their fans: the announcement of Dellin Betances, an extremely talented reliever that excelled for years with the New York Yankees but also sustained several injuries in the months prior to his agreement with the Flushing club.

The one-year pact came with a couple of player options in 2021 and 2022. Most likely, he wanted to use his time with the New York Mets in 2020 to prove that he was over the shoulder and lat issues that plagued his 2019 and the Achilles tear that derailed his normal offseason.

However, the 2020 shortened season wasn’t kind to him. He finished with a 7.71 ERA, a 4.91 FIP and a 6.39 xFIP, with more walks than strikeouts in 11.2 innings. The sample size is extremely small, but truth be told, Betances didn’t have a good year and was forced to miss time.

As Anthony DiComo of MLB.com explains it, the bad season puts the Mets’ reliever in a tough spot. The player option is worth $6 million, with a $3 million buy out. The deciding factor in his decision will be whether he thinks he can find a one-year deal better than $3 million.

“I actually haven’t even given it any thought, to be honest with you,” Betances said. “I do enjoy playing with this group of guys. Obviously, we came very short of expectations, and it’s very frustrating. But I like the guys that are here, the staff as well. It’s a decision I have to make, but it’s something that I haven’t really given any thought.”

Fastball velo is the key for the Mets’ reliever

So long as Betances can regain his fastball velocity, he has a good shot at becoming the reliever he was between 2014 and 2018 with the Yankees, or something close to it. That pitcher was perennially among the league leaders in ERA, strikeouts and other statistics.

Over that five-year span, Betances averaged over 97 miles per hour with his fastball. In 2020? 93.6 mph.
The Mets helped him eliminate some natural cut on his fastball and that resulted in his highest velocity of the season in the season’s final weekend against the Washington Nationals: 96.7 mph.

“It’s the best I’ve been in a couple years,” Betances said shortly after that.

Despite the bad results in 2020, he could elect to stay with the Mets and show his best version next year.

New York Mets: Only Fitting For A Blowout To End The Wilpon’s Reign

New York Mets, Billy Hamilton

Mediocrity is the first word that comes to mind in the broken marriage between the New York Mets and the Wilpon ownership. Their decisions, hirings, and lousy PR led to the Mets becoming the laughing stock of baseball and the butt of every joke. The Mets 15-5 loss to the Washington Nationals closed an ugly 18 years of Wilpon majority ownership.

Seth Lugo likely made his final start as a Met in which he allowed six runs and did not make it out of the second inning. The lack of quality starting rotation depth put the Mets in a situation where they had to force Lugo to be a starter. Should the Mets fix their pitching rotation, Lugo would play very well in his natural bullpen role.

Early Rout

This game was pretty well decided when the Nats had 11 runs after the third inning concluded. Brad Brach and Steven Matz concluded their poor seasons with poor outings, allowing the Nationals to put the game away. Dellin Betances also continued the trend when he made his second outing off the IL. Jeurys Familia was the only reliever to complete two innings without allowing a run and finished his season with a 3.71 ERA.

The two bright spots came from the bats of Pete Alonso and Guillermo Heredia. Alonso had three hits, including two home runs, to finish up the season on a good note. Heredia had two hits and drove in two runs as he hopes to earn an invite to camp in 2021.

The Mets finished their season at 26-34, tied for last place in the NL East. They fell under the .500 mark seven games into the season and never climbed out of that hole in their disappointing season. Steve Cohen and Sandy Alderson inherit a broken organization, filled with potential. With their window to win still wide open, expect the front office to revamp this roster for the 2021 season.

New York Mets: Betances is ramping up his activity and is close to return

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Dellin Betances

Outside of Edwin Diaz, the New York Mets have had some trouble navigating the last few innings of ballgames in 2020. Seth Lugo was taken off the relief corps and sent to the rotation, Robert Gsellman was lost to injury, and Dellin Betances has been dealing with his own physical ailments, as well. Other hurlers just haven’t shown the necessary consistency for the unit to offer reliability.

Speaking of Betances, the Mets’ offseason signing, who has been dealing with a right lat injury since late August, threw a simulated game at the team’s alternate training site on Thursday according to the team’s official site.

The righty has been ramping up his activity this week and could be an option to return in short notice. Once he does, he will help set up for Diaz and try to bring some stability to a unit that badly needs it.

The struggling Mets’ reliever is looking to return to form

The 2020 season hasn’t been kind to Betances. In 13 games and 10.1 innings, he has a 6.10 ERA, but a much more decent 4.26 FIP. Still, his performance level has been far from the one he showed while dominating the American League from 2014 to 2018 with the New York Yankees.

A partial Achilles tear in September ruined his offseason and forced him to take a one-year deal with the New York Mets for less than what he would have collected under normal circumstances. He has struggled with injuries and fastball velocity for months now, and it has reflected on his numbers.

For his career, Betances has averaged 14.44 K/9 and 4.06 BB/9. This season, the Mets’ right-hander has 6.97 K/9 and 6.10 BB/9. He just hasn’t been himself, primarily due to the toll that injuries have had in his body.

For now, the Mets are hoping he can close the season on a high note, but he has to return to the mound first.

New York Mets Injury Report: September 14, 2020

With about two weeks worth of games left, the New York Mets have plenty of work to do to get themselves in a postseason spot. Will any key players return to action soon during the last few games?

Jeff McNeil is day-to-day after leaving Sunday’s game with “gastrointestinal discomfort” or, in other words, a stomach ache. Diarrhea is a COVID-19 symptom, but it currently seems like the issue is only a one-day issue for McNeil. He should return to the lineup on Tuesday.

Jake Marisnick is sidelined with a right hamstring injury that hampered him earlier in the season. The is no word on how long he will spend on the sidelines, but the Mets have not opted for an IL stint yet. As one of their best hitters against lefties, they will need his bat in the lineup as soon as possible.

Instead of optioning Franklyn Kilome, the Mets sent him to the 10-day IL with a split fingernail. It should not take a long time to recover, but the Mets may not need him back soon. Erasmo Ramirez took his role as a long man in the bullpen.

Dellin You There?

Dellin Betances played catch on Friday for the first time since landing on the IL with a right lat issue. His timetable to return is questionable, and the earliest the Mets should have him back is during the last week of the season. If the Mets are out of the race, we may not see him throw another pitch this season.

Corey Oswalt (right biceps tendinitis) and Tomas Nido (COVID-19) are two players who the Mets have been silent about. Both resumed baseball activities but have not returned to the active roster. For Nido, the acquisition of Robinson Chirinos closed out an opportunity for Nido to return when cleared.

Robert Gsellman, Rene Rivera, and Eduardo Nunez are out for the season with their respective injuries. When healthy, they did not provide much for the Mets, combining on for a -0.4 WAR.

Noah Syndergaard is still rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery as he looks forward to the 2020 season.

Also, if you are wondering, yes, Jed Lowrie will not touch a baseball field this season. Even manager Luis Rojas said he has no idea what Lowrie is doing.

New York Mets: Betances Loses the Zone in 2-1 Walk-Off Loss

The New York Mets bullpen had put together a terrific scoreless innings streak up until the moment Dellin Betances entered the game. His combination of walks and wildness gifted the New York Yankees a much-needed victory. Betances flung the ball over Wilson Ramos‘s head, with Erik Kratz attempting to bunt, which caused the Mets to lose 2-1.

Not only does Betances have issues locating his fastball, but it does not have his typical velocity either. 92-93 is nowhere near where he was during the prime of his career. Betances allowed a walk to Clint Frazier and a hit and run single to Jordy Mercer to set up the game-ending wild pitch. After the game, he said he felt like he had nothing on the mound, pitching for a second straight day.

Failed Comeback

The Mets could not muster any offense against Yankees starter J.A. Happ. Over 7.1 innings, all Happ allowed was three hits with only 90 pitches. It was a big surprise when Yankees manager Aaron Boone removed him and turned to Adam Ottavino. Wilson Ramos immediately tagged Ottavino for a solo home run, tying the game at one. It looked like another comeback was in the works for a third straight game, but they could not add on to the homer.

Outside of Betances, the Mets pitching kept them a home run away throughout the game. After Robert Gsellman allowed a first-inning home run to Luke Voit, he was solid after that. Gsellman threw four innings, only allowing one run on four hits while striking out four.

Steven Matz followed him out of the bullpen and threw a 1-2-3 fifth inning with two strikeouts. The expectation was for Matz to throw multiple innings, resting an overworked Mets bullpen. He ended up leaving the game after the one inning with an apparent injury. For the next three innings, the bullpen worked in an out of trouble before the Betances collapse.

The Mets play a doubleheader on Sunday starting at 1:05 p.m. ET with Rick Porcello needing to give the Mets distance. Aaron Boone has not announced the Yankees starter as of 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Could the New York Yankees re-unite with Dellin Betances in 2021?

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Dellin Betances

The New York Yankees pitching corps seems to dwindle with every passing day. Injuries have become such a major aspect of baseball, specifically with the Bronx Bombers, that free agency is often littered with new signings.

This past off-season, the Yankees let one of their better relief arms go. Dellin Betances signed with a New York Mets and a one-year, $10.5 million. While he does have a player option for the 2021 season, the Mets aren’t exactly a winning organization.

Betances has pitched nine innings this year and 11 appearances. He currently has a 6.00 ERA, allowing six earned runs and seven strikeouts. He’s coming off a significant injury that limited Dellin to just 0.2 innings in 2019.

Back in 2017, Betances was an All-Star with the Yankees, earning a 2.87 ERA over 59.2 innings. He went on an impressive streak with over 100 strikeouts for five consecutive seasons between 2014-18.

Ultimately, the bullpen for the Yankees is extremely thin. Betances knows the ropes in pinstripes and has experienced plenty of success.

However, Empire Sports Media’s Andreas Chavez notes that Betances has a velocity problem. Having missed about a season and a half of baseball, returning to form has been difficult.

“Obviously, I’m not there yet,” Betances said to MLB.com. “But I’m continuing to work, and as the season progresses, I hope to be there.”

“I feel like the more repetitions I get, the better I’ll be able to get,” Betances said. “I’m still not there right now, but I feel like right now, I’ve just got to attack the strike zone and change speeds with what I have, and make the batters a little uncomfortable, and I feel like I can have a little success that way. But if I put guys on and fall behind, it’s not ideal for any pitcher.”

Utilizing the 2020 season as a comeback year is exactly what the Yankees are hoping for Dellin if they have any interest in bringing him back next season.

New York Mets: Conforto’s Two Run Homer Saves the Mets in 5-3 Win

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

Per usual for the New York Mets, the found a way to squander another Jacob deGrom start. The wild combination of Dellin Betances and Edwin Diaz loaded the bases then walked in the game-tying run. Luckily Michael Conforto came through to give the Mets the lead in the ninth with a two-run homer.

Manager Luis Rojas elected to leave Diaz in there to finish the ninth inning and shut the door. Diaz struck out the side and made it look relatively easy. It got the Mets their first three-game winning streak of the season and moved them to 12-14 on the season.

It was mysterious as to why Seth Lugo was not in the game at any point. The speculation is that he will start Thursday’s game instead of Steven Matz. The Conforto homer saves Rojas from some serious questioning as to why he stuck with Betances so long and then followed it with Diaz.

deGrom Dominant

Jacob deGrom was dialed in from the beginning. He shutout the Marlins for six innings and held their offense to only four hits with seven strikeouts. After receiving extended bullpen outings over the past two nights, they needed deGrom to give them some length on the mound.

Dominic Smith and Luis Guillorme remained extremely hot. Smith recorded two doubles, one resulting in an RBI and the other resulting in Guillorme driving him in. Guillorme also recorded two hits to move his average to .464 and is continuing to become a player the Mets cannot afford to keep out of the lineup.

The Mets shoot for the sweep as either Lugo or Matz take the mound against Daniel Castano at 6:10 p.m. in the final game from Marlins Park.

 

New York Mets: Offense Puts the Game Away Late in 8-3 Victory

Tuesday’s game for the New York Mets started with some worry as David Peterson landed on the 10-day Injured List with left shoulder fatigue. Corey Oswalt received the spot start and survived long enough that the Mets offense gave him the support he needed.

Oswalt lasted 4.1 innings, allowing five hits, two runs, no walks, and striking out four Marlins. He retired nine in a row at one point before running into trouble in the fourth inning. For a spot start on late notice, it was about the best the Mets could ask for. Justin Wilson, Jared Hughes, and Dellin Betances had shutout outings after Oswalt exited.

Edwin Diaz had a chance to finish off the victory but labored through his one inning of work. Francisco Cervelli led off with a double and a couple of infield singles, with a throwing error from Diaz got the Marlins a run. From that point, Diaz calmed himself down to strike out the final three batters he faced to end the game.

Plenty of Offense

For the second consecutive night, the Mets offense gave their pitching plenty of runs to work with. Brandon Nimmo led the way, finishing just a double short of the cycle. Amed Rosario had a much-needed breakout night with the bat. He recorded his second home run of the season and drove in three runs. Every Met in the starting lineup except Jeff McNeil and Tomas Nido recorded a hit.

The Mets went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base. When the offense records multiple hits w/RISP then they can live with a night like this. The issues arise when they record zero or one hit in these critical situations.

Jacob deGrom returns to the mound on Wednesday as he tries to make it three straight Mets victories. Pablo Lopez opposes him at 7:10 p.m. ET from Marlins Park.