Maybe Dellin Betances knew something we didn’t.
As somewhat of a throwaway question towards the end of one of our last interviews with the friendly fireballer, I asked Betances if he felt like he was on the right track to join his friend, Manny Banuelos, in Triple-A Scranton.
“I feel like I have to put together a good start,” he said. “If I put up a good start, I feel like that’s going to help me get out of here.”
On Friday, he put together arguably his best outing of the season against a Harrisburg Senators lineup led by Bryce Harper. He lasted a season-long seven innings, and allowed just one run on a walk and five hits. He struck out six, and threw 97 pitches, including 60 for strikes.
On Sunday, Betances — follow him at @DBetances50, of course — tweeted that he’d been promoted to Scranton.
“One step closer moving on up to 3A pursuing the dream of making it to the league Ty lord for giving me this opportunity.”
In 21 starts for the Thunder this season, he posted a 4-6 mark with a 3.42 ERA. He seemed to struggle over the second half of his tenure in Trenton, with his ERA nearly doubling from the 1.76 it was at after his 11th start of the season. But while often frustrating with his pitch efficiency, all things taken into account, the personable 23-year-old was dominant for the majority of his stay with Trenton and was among the league’s elite pitchers.
His .219 batting average against is good for second best in the league among Eastern League starting pitchers, and his impressive 9.83 K/9 ratio is good for fifth. So, while he was in the game, he was often extremely effective. But there’s also no getting around the fact that he’d throw way too many pitches — he threw six or more innings in just five of his 21 outings — which is something he’ll certainly have to work on if he hopes to be considered as a serious option for the Major League starting rotation.
However, given his 40-man roster status and in part due to the Yankees needing to experiment with their roster before the postseason rolls around, it would be hardly shocking to see him earn a September call-up and be given an opportunity to pitch in October. Currently at 105 1/3 innings pitched and with an innings cap of 150 — which he told us himself — it would make some sense that the idea at least be considered.
I’ve been in touch with Betances, and hope to hear from him at some point tomorrow.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com