Let me be clear first. I’m not the biggest fan of the All-Star Game. I watch every year, but that’s because I love baseball and watching the best play the best. I think that the All-Star Game being used to decide home-field advantage is an absolute farce. However, if it’s truly a game of the best players facing each other, then Dellin Betances needs to be there.
Betances might be the most overpowering reliever in the game today, in the way guys are totally fooled at the plate at times. Betances has his fastball averaging 96 mph. Betances, per Fangraphs, leads all relievers in WAR, XFIP, SIERA, and strikeouts, fourth in K/9, sixth in WHIP, and third in opponent’s average.
If John Farrell really wants to have the best of the best for the American League, Betances has to be in the bullpen for the squad.
From failed starter to now dominant, multiple-inning setup man, Betances has been in many high-leverage situations and has gotten through them all.
We talk about all the time how the Yankees would be in big trouble without Masahiro Tanaka, and it’s true, but where would they be without Betances coming out of the bullpen to keep some of those leads that Betances has protected? Look at Monday night’s game. Yanks with a 3-1 lead after Tanaka pitches six innings. What happens next? Betances pitches two scoreless innings, six up, six down, three strikeouts, 21 pitches.
Plenty of non-closer relievers have made All-Star teams, and Betances should join the ranks of them.