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The other day, we covered the fifth starter spot, and correctly predicted that Michael Pineda would get the nod (it was pretty obvious). This week, we’re going to take a look at one of the other few open spots on the Yankees roster, the last bullpen spot. Coming into camp, this was pretty much an open competition between guys like Cesar Cabral, Yoshinori Tateyama, Matt Daley, Preston CaliborneDellin Betances and anyone else who showed up to camp with a loose arm. One of those guys has really set himself apart from the rest, and that’s Betances. He should be the guy, and here’s why.

We covered Betances as a possible addition to the 2014 Yankees earlier this offseason, but that was more of a speculative “can he make an impact” post. After this spring, it’s fairly obvious that the big kid from the Bronx could possibly make a huge impact as a rookie in 2014. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, because Betances was, at one point, one of the top prospects in this system. He boasts a power fastaball that reached up to 99 mph last season, and a new slider/slurve that really has become a put away type pitch.

Betances first put his name into the bullpen mix last year, when his control issues finally forced the Yankees to try something new with him. He flourished in the AAA bullpen, putting up a 1.34 ERA with 83 strikeouts in 60.2 innings.a All of a sudden, the Yankees had a bonafide bullpen arm in the making, and they brought him to the big leagues in August. He had a very bad outing on August 13 and was sent back down, but fared much better when he was recalled in September.

This spring, Betances has continued his brilliance, pitching 10.1 innings and only allowing one run. He has walked 4 guys in that time, which is a bit much, but the 9 Ks are certainly impressive. He’s only allowed 4 hits, which has made the walks less detrimental. When we talked about Michael Pineda’s bid for the fifth starter role, we talked about how everyone had the inkling that the Yankees wanted him to win the job before spring training. I get the same feeling with Betances. When a guy is your top prospect, you want him to succeed. They moved him to the bullpen because they want to get some value out of him, and that’s why I think he’ll get this job. He has 100% earned it, but they wanted him to earn it too, and I think that helps with confidence.

Betances Strikes Out José Bautista

Featured image courtesy of: Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

  1. http://minorleaguecentral.com/player?pid=476454&gamelog=3000  (back)
Martin Stezano

About Martin Stezano

Uruguayan born and American raised with a unique perspective on the domestic and international sports scenes. It will both tickle your funny bone and enlighten your mind. Love it or hate it...just read it.

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