Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Why Are We All Surprised That Dellin Betances is Struggling?


Dellin, nobody said playing in New York was going to be easy and boy it hasn’t been for the Yankees right-handed reliever. Dellin exited Yankee Stadium to some of the loudest boos I think I have ever heard inside the new Yankee Stadium on Monday night after helping load the bases in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins. Aroldis Chapman got out of trouble after relieving Betances and the Yankees won the game, which is all great, but I would rather focus on another issue. Betances is struggling here during the month of September and I am just left sitting here wondering why anyone is really surprised that this is happening.

Sure, Betances loaded the bases because of walks and hit batters and not because the Twins were squaring him up which is encouraging but this is just another season with a September collapse for Betances. Betances has a career 4.53 ERA in the month of September throughout his career, and that is including Chapman’s bailout which could have made that number skyrocket with three inherited runners, and the right-hander also has an 8.10 ERA here in September of 2017. Stats and history suggest that Betances should be getting better going forward, he almost has to at this point, and Betances has to if the Yankees want to not only make the postseason but go far in the playoffs as well. Betances is going to have to stop making excuses and people like Joe Girardi are going to have to stop making excuses for him. He is fatigued like he is fatigued every single season and that’s on Girardi, not on Betances. Fix it, or fix the problem by removing the manager. Period.

Before you say something along the lines of “Betances is on pace for his lowest innings total and appearance totals in four years” let’s remember that Betances is pitching in high stress innings. Betances has closed, set up and been the fireman for the Yankees all season long. Betances has been that guy for the Yankees basically since he came through the farm system and inserted himself into Joe Girardi’s bullpen. Three stress-free innings are probably equal to one stressful inning here in major League Baseball and it feels like Betances has had nothing but stressful innings, some he created and some he has not, all season long.


Betances is over 300 innings pitched now as a relief pitcher and they have all been pretty hard innings for the right-hander. Every single season Betances comes out strong like a strikeout machine only to fizzle out in September and into October so why are we surprised that it is happening again here in 2017? I’m not and you shouldn’t be either. This is almost in the “Mark Teixeira is a slow starter” neighborhood, it’s becoming that much of a common place here in the latter parts of the season. How do you fix it or prevent it? That I don’t know, that’s why the Yankees pay good money for pitching coaches and managers and that’s why they aren’t paying me. All I know is the team needs to fix it and needs to fix it now or the team may struggle to get past the AL Wild Card Game once again, just like in 2015 when Betances struggled.

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