In his first comments since being called up to Triple-A Scranton on Sunday, Dellin Betances made it clear he’s taking things one step at a time. For now, anyway.
“I feel like everybody’s dream is to make it to the bigs, and me being on the roster, I think my chances are better than they are if I wasn’t,” said Betances, when asked about a possible Major League call-up.
“So, I’ve thought about it. But my mindset is just to go up to Triple-A and build on my last start with Trenton and just try to pitch well with Scranton.”
Betances, who was gracious enough to call me yesterday afternoon, said that a trip to Scranton was all that was on his mind after his best outing of the season in Harrisburg. But after he didn’t hear anything the day after, so he was set on preparing for his next start in Erie instead.
“So getting the news (Sunday), it was a great feeling,” he said.
“I get to pitch with a lot of the guys I played with in ’09, so it’s kind of nice to go up there and see what it’s like. I just want to work on stuff. I’ve only got like four starts left, but I want to make the best out of them…to be honest with you, I was getting to the point in my last couple starts where I was trying to finish the season strong. I was not trying to worry too much about what happened because it’s not under my control. But now that I’m getting the chance to go to Triple-A, I’m just going to try to finish strong and try to get more consistent and get better.”
In one of his last conversations with Trenton reporters at Waterfront Park, Betances seemed to indicate that it would take putting together that one elusive special start to get him to the next level. And he did just that in Harrisburg, lasting a season-long seven innings that took just 96 pitches to get through.
“The start before Harrisburg in Altoona, I felt like it was a decent start even though I only went five innings. I just got into trouble in one inning where I threw too many pitches,” Betances said.
“After that start, I felt like I was heading in the right direction, so I just wanted to go out there and pound the strike zone. I got some good help from my defense and I just tried to pitch to contact and let anything happen, and just not try to do too much with runners on. That’s what helped me early in the game.”
If he can continue to build off of that start, and there’s no reason to think he can’t, there’s also no reason to think he wouldn’t be given every opportunity to make a contribution at the big league level in September. But for now, the 23-year-old Betances is scheduled to make his Triple-A debut on Friday night.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com