Mets lose Dellin Betances to a shoulder injury

After losing JD Davis earlier in the week with a left hand contusion after a hit by pitch, the New York Mets received more bad news on the injury front. A bullpen that is already without Seth Lugo, its most important contributor in the last few years, suffered yet another injury blow after it was revealed that Dellin Betances has been placed on the 10-day injury list, according to the Mets’ official site.

The right-hander will be on the shelf for the foreseeable future with a right shoulder impingement. The Mets’ reliever conceded a run on a hit, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch in his season debut on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Phillies.

From 2014 to 2018, before signing with the Mets, Betances was perhaps the American League most consistently dominant relievers. He did that with the Yankees, but several injury issues derailed his 2019 season, and an Achilles tear affected his preparation during the offseason and the 2020 campaign.

The Mets called up Trevor Hildenberger

Overall, in the last two years, he suffered from shoulder, lat and Achilles issues. The Mets called up Trevor Hildenberger in a corresponding move before Thursday’s home opener.

Hildenberger impressed the Mets early in camp but due to the team depth, he couldn’t make the opening day roster. He struck out a whopping nine hitters in just 3 1/3 innings.

Betances struggled with velocity in his season debut, maxing out at 93 mph, several ticks down of his top register of 2020, 97.

“Obviously, in the past, I’d rely on the stuff I had,” Betances said last month. “I’m not there right now.”

The Mets’ pitcher worked out at a biomechanics facility in New Jersey, as he wanted to produce more “rise” effect on his fastball. Obviously, the early results weren’t there, as his four-seamer velocity hasn’t bounced back to the levels it had during his days with the New York Yankees.

Montgomery, Diaz Struggle in New York Mets 10-2 Loss to the Marlins

The New York Mets had to decide Mike Montgomery‘s future, and his outing against the Miami Marlins did not help. Montgomery needed 60 pitches to get through 2.2 innings, where he allowed five runs on six hits. The fish wasted no time in the first inning when they opened up an early 4-0 and sent nine batters to the plate.

Montgomery had the upper hand over Jerry Blevins to become the second lefty in the bullpen. With Blevins’s scoreless outing on Saturday, he might have a new life to make the roster. The defense behind him did not provide much help, but the Mets have to decide their plan going forward, and Montgomery can opt-out if he disagrees with it.

The relievers that followed Montgomery did not provide and resistance for the Marlins hitters. Jeurys Familia and Miguel Castro both allowed runs in their one inning outings. Edwin Diaz struggled the most with four hits and three runs allowed but did strikeout three. Surprisingly, Dellin Betances was the one reliever who recorded a 1-2-3 inning.

The Mets’ offense was quiet against Marlins starter Daniel Castano. Brandon Nimmo provided the only run off Castano with his third-inning home run. It was only Nimmo’s second hit against a lefty this spring, and consistent hitting against southpaws can move him from a platoon option to an everyday player. Michael Conforto also hit Castano well with two hits, including a double. Wilfredo Tovar provided the second run with his home run in the ninth inning.

On Monday, the Mets play at 12:05 p.m. ET against the St. Louis Cardinals. Taijuan Walker (1-0, 3.00 ERA) faces off against veteran Adam Wainwright (0-0, 1.83 ERA) from Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

New York Mets: Offense Goes Silent in 3-0 Loss to Cardinals

Carlos Martinez has finally figured out a way to shut down the New York Mets in the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 victory. Martinez had a spring ERA over 10 heading into the outing but righted himself with a dominant outing. He threw six scoreless innings, allowing four hits, and struck out five.

The offense could not muster any consistent offense. They had at least one runner on base in five of Martinez’s six innings but could not parlay it to any run. Despite the slow team offense, Francisco Lindor recorded another hit and moved his spring average to .341. Jeff McNeil‘s double was the only extra-base hit as he tries to get himself out of a cold spell.

Originally Taijuan Walker was scheduled to pitch, but the Mets threw him in the “B” game and started Corey Oswalt. He rebounded from an ugly outing to deliver four innings, holding the Cards to one run. It came on John Nogowski‘s solo home run in the second inning; Nogowski is hitting a scorching 11-for-26 (.423) with two home runs and 11 RBIs. After the homer, Oswalt retired the last seven Cardinals he faced.

After Oswalt, Jeurys Familia and Dellin Betances delivered scoreless innings with a walk and strikeout. Miguel Castro struck out two and hit 100 mph on the radar gun to continue his brilliant month. Castro has allowed just one hit over 5.1 innings in March. Jerry Blevins was touched up for the final two Cardinal runs in the eighth inning.

The Mets get Thursday off before returning to Clover Park to face the Washington Nationals. Kyle McGowin (2-0, 2.35 ERA) starts against David Peterson (0-0, 4.50 ERA) at 6:10 p.m. ET.

Mets Play Ugly Defense for the Second Straight Game in 9-5 Loss to Nats

The New York Mets pitching join their defensive struggles in a 9-5 loss against the Washington Nationals. Judging by the tweets and few videos from the game, the Mets should be thankful this game was not televised.

Jordan Yamamoto got the start for the Mets, and his first-inning cost him a good outing. After retiring the first two batters, an error and walk gave the Nats a free opportunity to score. Ryan Zimmerman and Kyle Schwarber tagged him for RBI singles to give them an early 2-0 lead. Yamamoto would pitch two scoreless innings to finish his outing.

Dellin Betances followed him and fell victim to the two-out rally as well. A double from Starlin Castro led to a throwing error from third baseman J.D. Davis and allowed him to score. Betances fastball was in the 91 mph range but peaked at 94 mph.

Matt Allan continued the trend of two-out runs by allowing three (one earned) during his one inning of work. An RBI single led to the first run, then an error from Jake Hager at second base allowed the Nats to drive in another two. Robert Gsellman was the only pitcher who kept the Nationals off the board with his scoreless inning.

Francisco Lindor finally broke the seal with his first two hits as a member of the Mets. It comes on the same day the Mets announced negotiations will begin for a long-term deal. Mark Vientos was the other Met with multiple hits as he recorded two doubles. Jake Hager recorded the biggest hit with a three-run homer, his second home run of the spring. Hager only has two hits in spring training, and both are via the long ball.

The Mets head back to Port St. Lucie to face the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:10 p.m. Taijuan Walker makes his Mets debut against Carlos Martinez (0-1, 32.40 ERA), and it will be televised on SNY.

 

Mets: Dellin Betances’ fastball velo is slowly coming back

Dellin Betances was battered on the New York Mets’ last spring training game, on Thursday. He threw 23 pitches and allowed a three-run blast to Ryan Zimmerman. He could only get two outs.

For Betances, 2018 was his last excellent year back when he was with the Yankees. He had a 2.70 ERA and a 2.47 FIP, with 15.53 strikeouts per nine frames. Then, he suffered a series of injuries in 2019 that culminated in an Achilles tear in September.

He couldn’t have a normal offseason due to the injury, and COVID-19 and the late start disrupted everybody’s routine in 2020. Last year, his first with the Mets, he showed diminished velocity by this point in the year, and couldn’t quite recover his best version en route to a 7.71 ERA in 11.2 frames.

Yet, with a normal offseason, Betances is already touching 93 miles per hour with his fastball, and the Mets are extremely pleased about that number because at this point in 2020, he has sitting in the 89-90 range.

The Mets need the best version of Betances

If the Mets are going to have an elite bullpen (which is entirely possible since they signed Trevor May, Aaron Loup and they already have the injured Seth Lugo and Edwin Diaz) they need Betances to recover at least some of the form that made him one of the best relievers from 2014 to 2018.

According to MLB.com, Betances spend the winter training at a biomechanics facility in New Jersey, trying to regain some of the lost velocity.

Last season, he averaged 93.6 mph and touched 96.7. He is already at a more advanced stage, velocity-wise, than in 2020, so there is hope he can go back to living in the high-90s.

“I feel tremendously better now than I did last year,” Betances said recently, confirming that the Achilles is no longer an issue. “I feel like I finally had a full offseason to get ready for coming to camp.”

Alonso’s Grand Slam Propels New York Mets to an 8-4 Victory

New York Mets, Luis Rojas

For the second straight game, the New York Mets came out swinging and had the pitching to back it up. They used three home runs and seven two-out RBIs to defeat the Washington Nationals 8-4.

Brandon Nimmo got the Mets started early with a leadoff home run to give them a quick 1-0 lead against Jackson Rutledge. After three quiet innings, the fifth was loaded with action. Dellin Betances made his Spring debut and became the only reliever to allow runs.

After getting the first two outs of the inning, Betances issued two walks, and an RBI double on a fly ball that left fielder Drew Ferguson misplayed. Ryan Zimmerman capped off the inning with a three-run homer, giving the Nats a 4-1 lead. The only positive of his outing is his velocity in the 92-93 range, which is far better than last year’s spring training.

In the bottom half of the fifth, Pete Alonso‘s grand slam put the Mets back and forth 5-4. It was a classic Alonso homer as he drove it onto the right-center field hill. Alonso did not homer in 13 spring training games in 2020 and already looks more relaxed at the plate. Jake Hager supplied the third homer on the day with a solo shot in the seventh.

Pitching Success

David Peterson was solid in his first start of the spring as he tries to earn a spot in the starting rotation. In two innings, he allowed just one hit, a hit batter and worked out of a second and third jam in the first inning. Peterson finished off his start with a 1-2-3 inning in the second.

After Peterson left the game, the Mets used many relievers who are expected to make the Opening Day roster. Jeurys Familia struggled with his command and needed 31 pitches to get through his scoreless inning. Aaron Loup was the complete opposite, needing just 11 pitches to work through a scoreless fourth inning.

Trevor May, Robert Gsellman, Stephen Tarpley, and Sean Reid-Foley all put up goose eggs in their respective innings. Mets pitchers collectively only recorded two strikeouts on the day. The Mets have a day off on Friday and send Jacob deGrom to the mound on Saturday night against the Houston Astros. Due to MLB’s incompetence, the game will not be televised.

New York Mets: Dellin Betances Ahead of Schedule From 2020

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.

New York Mets: What To Expect From Dellin Betances in 2021?

It seems like a long time ago where the New York Mets biggest offseason signing was Dellin Betances. They were in their final offseason before Steve Cohen bought the team, and they were no other major moves that followed. With the brand new additions, Betances has become a forgotten man in the Mets bullpen.

Just two seasons ago, Betances was one of the premier relievers in all of baseball. He had five straight seasons over 100 strikeouts and four All-Star selections. An unfortunate combination of injuries and a shortened 2020 held Betances back from returning to a dominant form.

“I want to win the fan base over,” Betances said. “I was able to do that with the Yankees, but I haven’t done nothing here with the Mets.” With Seth Lugo out for at least the first month of the season, the Mets need a reliever to step up in his place.

Which Betances Shows?

The 6’8″ frame of Betances needs a full spring training and even part of April to reach full strength. In 2020 it showed because he had his lowest average fastball velocity (93.6 mph). Even with a usual spring training, it is very likely that Betances never throws triple digits again. Betances is heading into his age-33 season and has to become a complete pitcher.

He can still be successful with a mid-90s fastball, but his location is even more important now. Betances curveball/slider are still as sharp ever and serve as perfect strikeout pitches. Sometimes it even seems like his command with them is better than his fastball command. Betances is a tough at-bat because it seems like the ball is coming from 50 feet away. It becomes even scarier when there is always the possibility that Betances can lose the strike zone.

The Mets have at least four relievers they will use in the eighth and ninth innings before Betances. This allows him to settle in during the middle innings without the pressure of the late innings. Once Betances gets going, they can afford to move him to a role he is accustomed to. If the Mets can get him right, they have a potential comeback player of the year on their hands.

New York Mets reportedly trying to “find takers” for Jeurys Familia and Dellin Betances

The New York Mets are putting together a quite talented roster that can, as of today, compete with the Atlanta Braves for the top spot in the National League East division. New owner Steve Cohen and team president Sandy Alderson have worked to bring top talent to the organization and have mostly succeeded, even if they failed to capture Trevor Bauer, George Springer or JT Realmuto.

The bullpen, once considered a weakness, is actually good at this point. The fact that the New York Mets brought several rotation reinforcements means that Seth Lugo will return to a setup role.

Additionally, the Mets signed Trevor May and also have Edwin Diaz, Robert Gsellman, Jacob Barnes, Miguel Castro, Brad Brach, Sam McWilliams, Aaron Loup, Drew Smith, Dellin Betances, and Jeurys Familia.

The last two, though, are very expensive. The Mets, therefore, are looking for ways to trade them to other teams, even if it means taking on some of their salary for the 2021 season.

The Mets want to trade their two relievers

According to Andy Martino of SNY.tv, rival executives told him that the Mets “have been trying to find takers” for the contracts of the two aforementioned right-handed relievers.

Familia will earn $11.7 million in 2021 and is in the final year of his contract, while Betances will make $6 million and is also going to be a free agent after the season.

Finding takers for those contracts will not be an easy task for the Mets, especially because Betances struggled mightly in 2020 (7.71 ERA, 4.91 FIP) and will turn 33 when the season is underway.

Familia had a better 2020 (3.71 ERA, 4.92 FIP in 26.2 innings) but is also more expensive. It remains to be seen if the Mets get any interest on their par of relievers, but they have been excellent before even if 2020 wasn’t quite their year.

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.