Dealin’ With Dellin

Good things come to those who wait.  Dellin Betances was kind enough to grant myself and Josh Norris a lengthy interview just outside the clubhouse before the game today, and it was probably the most fascinating chat we’ve had with the big guy all season.

On Tuesday night’s start: “Not a good one.  It’s been a while since I’ve pitched a good one.  I was kind of out of whack, I just tried to battle the whole time.  It could have been a lot worse than what it was.”

On throwing more fastballs: “They told me that they want me to work on fastball command, so I’ve been throwing a lot of fastballs.  But I’ll try to change it up next time I go out.”

On increased velocity: “Honestly, I thought I was throwing like 90-92 to be honest with you.  I really didn’t feel like I was throwing hard at all.  I was actually surprised that I was throwing as hard as I did.  I guess that could be a good thing going forward, this late and throwing as hard as I did.  But I still haven’t been able to have a good stretch, and it’s tough because I want to help this team out as much as I can.  What I’m going through now, I’m kind of in a battle, but I know I’m working hard and I’m putting in the effort.  There’s only a month left, so I’m just hoping to put a good stretch together to finish the season strong.”

On what he did last season to improve command: “I just felt like I was more consistent with my delivery.  This year, I’ve been trying to do some stuff.  Last year, I felt like I was more consistent, more fluid.  I haven’t been able to figure out not a good arm slot, but a good release point.  That’s what’s been messing me up mostly.  I’m working hard in my sides, and hopefully next time out, I’ll pitch good.  It sucks not being able to pitch good, to be honest.”

On how much the org. has worked on his delivery from the start of this season: “I’ve worked on a lot of things.  The key with me is just being able to have a good finish and just not falling out of line, like my head coming to the side.  Just basically good finish, and my back leg coming over easy.  I feel like I’ve been overstriding too much, and my back leg has been kind of collapsing and not coming over.  It’s one of those things, it’s frustrating because you know that if I’m throwing as hard as I am, I should be able to pitch better.  I feel like I haven’t made quality pitches when I needed.  I did yesterday when I had the bases loaded, but not in the past few starts.  It’s just been one rough inning in each start that’s pretty much killed me, so I need to be able to put that behind me.”

On if he thinks about all the instruction in regards to his delivery while he’s out there instead of just letting it go: “No, no.  I’ve done it before, but lately I’ve just been trying to go pitch after pitch.  You don’t want to think about that while you’re out there, that can definitely affect what you want to do.  But I’ve caught myself doing that a couple times, maybe in the last month or so, but I’ve been trying to get better at that and just trying to go pitch by pitch.”

On if the org. is allowing him to use all his pitches: “No, right now, I feel like I could do whatever I want, I just haven’t got the chance to do it.  I mean, I have thrown a lot of fastballs, but maybe I need to pitch more in and have guys a little more off-balance.  Last game, I felt real good with my command even though I did give up a lot of runs in that one inning.  I felt real good.  It sucked that yesterday I kind of took a step back instead of taking a step forward.”

On pitch efficiency: “I’m trying to pitch to contact every time out, I just felt like I was falling behind guys and that wasn’t helping me out.  Instead of getting early contact like I did last game, where I was attacking the zone and got that early contact, this game yesterday…first inning, I felt good and then it was one of those things where I just haven’t been able to put inning after inning after inning (together) and just get ahead of guys.  It sucks…I know I’m going to be good and have a good stretch to finish, and we’ll see from there.  I know I have the confidence in myself to bounce back and finish strong, at least for this year.”

On what would satisfy him in terms of how long he should pitch in a game, innings-wise: “Just based on my pitches, I think now they’re going to let me go, so I mean I would love to go seven innings.  I haven’t gone seven innings since Charleston just because they haven’t given me the chance.  I’ve had games this year where I could have gone longer than six.  But they have something going now and it’s getting to the last month.  I think this last start yesterday was going to be one, and the last start was going to be one where they kind of let me go.  Hopefully next time I go out, I’m going to try to get six for now, but if I can go longer I would definitely like to go longer.”

On defining “let me go:” “They feel like they have a limit of innings for me.  So I don’t know what they feel like, if they want me to pitch until September or…they have a plan, which is to limit my innings.  That’s what they were trying to do earlier on.  Now that it’s getting into August, the goal is 150 and I’m not even at 100 now.  So it’s one of those things where they probably wanna let me go and see if I can get to 130-150, by the end of the year.”

On speaking with Banuelos after his start in Scranton: “Yeah, I spoke to him.  He told me he felt good, and he got into a couple jams, but it was good.  He wasn’t nervous at all, he said.  I think he gave up a home run to Domonic Brown, I think he said he left a pitch middle-in.  He said besides that, he had eight strikeouts and it was good.  I’m happy for him, and I know good things are going to come out of that start.  I hope he gets the chance to pitch for the major league team soon.”

On if he’s on the right track to join Banuelos in Triple-A: “I feel like I have to put together a good start.  If I put up a good start, I feel like that’s going to help me get out of here.  But I have to put up a good start, I don’t even know the last time I had one.  It’s been a while.  But I’m just trying to help this team as much as I can.  I’m with the Thunder now, and I feel like my responsibility is here and nowhere else.  I want to help this team get back to the playoff hunt.  If I’m still here…last year, it came down to the end and I know I can contribute.  I know I haven’t pitched to my ability, but I know I have the stuff to get back and finish strong and help this team win.  I feel like I can do that.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

8 Responses to “Dealin’ With Dellin”

  1. Dealin Dellin Says:

    Great interview, great questions.

    You can see where release point would be an issue since he’s been leaving his shoulder open and not finishing, at least the times I’ve seen him. That wasn’t the case last year, when he was closed and through his delivery.

    I’m impressed with his self-awareness and desire to pitch deeper into games, which I wish they had let him do both in previous two outings at home before this one. The one furthest away, where Cashman was present, was frustrating to watch because he was pulled after finding a great rhythm and wanted him the chance to be allowed to carry that further. The other, he really should not have come out under any qualifiers, at such a low pitch count & more the victim of poor infielding than having some breakdown. THAT’S where he’s going to really get to the next level, by pitching out of trouble in the stretch.

    I’m a lttle confused on him saying they want him to work on fb command (which is a given) & his confirming he didn’t throw much else in last outing. Was that just up to him? He indicated it was, & said he’d mix it up more next time out. But Romine (vis a vis the Yankees, I’m sure) must have been calling for a ton of fbs. Since I didn’t see the start, I wouldn’t know if repetition of pitches meant they were timing him too easily? He could throw 96 but if he’s not mixing up at all, he’d likely get hit. It seems it would be self defeating to work on fb command in a vacuum, unless he was in a relief role (hope that’s not where they’re headed with this kid). When I saw him, too, he was pitching more inside & backing guys off the plate more, which he referenced here not doing enough of.

    This is the kind of stuff I’m looking for and really appreciate these kinds of details, especially since this kind of prized arm is still in the tender development phase. Fantastic job, Mike.

    • Peter Lacock Says:

      I wouldn’t worry about Betances going to the bullpen for a couple years at least. That is, other than late September call ups.
      Ultimately his performance will dictate his future but I’m 100% certain the Yankees want him to start and will do everything they can to help him do that.
      Cash wouldn’t protect a guy if he had any inkling that he was going to be a reliever.

  2. kinglear Says:

    Just great great stuff, Mike. Almost as good as Betances’ when he is at his best.😉

  3. thunderbaseball Says:

    Gracias, guys. Give credit to Josh as well…was a two-man job.

  4. kinglear Says:

    Credit to Josh too, then. Any ability to get road reports on Dellin? We are going to be starving for info tomorrow. Got any feelers in Altoona or Harrisburg? Man, I wish milb-tv televised some of these games.

  5. Dealin Dellin Says:

    The road starts are like a black hole. The radio guys are busy with the game unfolding, so they don’t really have time to essay much on the pitching per se. the Minors site gives you those inning by inning summaries, but that’s skeletal. Any extra info would be greatly appreciated, if attainable. As always, thanks.

  6. thunderbaseball Says:

    There really isn’t too much I can do. Pitch counts, velo…stuff we don’t have access to when the team is on the road. Radio guys are your best bet, to be honest.

  7. Dealin Dellin Says:

    Yea, figured it would be nigh impossible. I’ll be tuning in at 6 tonight. Thanks for the response.

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