Betances Favored as New Yankees Closer by Mariano Rivera
By Lionel Olivo
New York Yankees legendary closer, Mariano Rivera, favors Dellin Betances to become the next Yankees closer. “He showed he’s capable of doing it,” said Rivera during an event this past week, referring to Betances. As a set-up man for the now departed David Robertson, he posted a 1.40 ERA while pitching 90 innings throughout 70 games last season.
Betances’ results were so impressive that he was voted to his first All-Star game, an impressive feat given that 2014 was his first full season in MLB. The other candidate for the job is Andrew Miller, who was recently acquired through free agency. Last year he posted a career best ERA of 2.02 while pitching 62 innings in 73 games.
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Going into Spring Training, there are no clear front runners for closer. While it’s still unclear who will get the job, through their off-season acquisitions, the Yankees have several options to pick from.
In Betances and Miller, the Yankees have two quality players vying for closer. However, several questions still remain. While Betances did post sterling numbers last year, it remains to be seen if he will succumb to a sophomore slump and if he can handle the pressure that comes from blowing a save in a big market (New York). In Miller’s case, that 2.02 ERA is a career best and it was achieved during a contract year. It remains to be seen if he can maintain that level of proficiency when there’s not a pay raise on the line.