Betances poised for big role in Yankees bullpen

Hard-throwing righty has golden opportunity to become a regular in 2014
03/07/2014 10:59 AM ET
By Doug Williams

Background: Dellin Betances is a 25-year-old pitcher for the New York Yankees. Originally from New York, Betances is 6 feet, 8 inches tall and throws a fastball in the mid-to-upper 90's. Between the 2011 and 2013 seasons, he's thrown only 7.2 innings in the Majors and has given up eight earned runs. He was originally drafted by the Yankees in the eighth round of the 2006 amateur draft.

2013 Season: Betances spent most of his season in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre where he performed well. In 84 innings (six starts) he went 6-4 with a 2.68 ERA and 108 K's. When he was promoted to the Yankees late in the season, he was electric but less than stellar. He struck out 10 in just fiv innings, but also gave up six runs on nine hits.

Greatest Strength: Betances has a great fastball and pretty good stuff in general. He can reach the high-90's with his heater and counters it with off-speed that has some movement. Plus, when a guy is on the mound at 6'8, it always seems like it's coming even harder.

Greatest Weakness: Betances' weakness is undoubtedly control. Over his eight season in the minors, he averaged about five walks per nine innings. While the strikeouts may have been able to bail him out in the minors, they won't in the big leagues. He will most likely spend plenty of time this spring working with Larry Rothschild on his command.

Prediction: Betances has already pitched three times this spring and the early results are good. The Yankees' bullpen has some question marks, and if he continues to pitch well this spring there's no doubt Betances will earn a job in middle relief. 

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