Dellin Betances Won’t Pitch Less in 2016


Since 2013, Yankees’ reliever Dellin Betances has pitched in 174 innings, more than any other reliever in Major League Baseball.

In that time, the 27-year old has been selected to two All-Star games and hasn’t shown any signs of breakdown. Given recent history, however, there have been countless cases of decline and injury, and the reliever who averages a 97 mile per hour fastball may be at extreme risk.

Betances is well aware of that, so he took two months off to rest his cannon. This decision was not made by his manager Joe Girardi or Larry Rothschild, but a personal one he made after talking with some people throughout baseball.

“That was the longest I’ve taken off without throwing. Just trying to give the arm a little break and try something I guess.” -Dellin Betances

Girardi mentioned how the righty may pitch the same amount in 2016 as he did the last two years.

“He’s become more economical in his pitch sequences as he’s gotten older. I look at innings. I look at pitches too,” Girardi said. “I think he’s able to handle 80 games. I do.” (via

The Yankee manager also highlighted that the days in a row that Betances pitches in is key. Girardi will depend on his new and improved bullpen to help give Betances days off in between his relief appearances.

The combo of Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman could be used to give Betances a day off in a game in April, in order to be 100% in September and October.

How much could extra days be beneficial for Betances?

When pitchers throw on back-to-back days they lose about a half a mile per hour on their fastball compared to having at least one day of rest. If a pitcher is asked to throw three straight days, his fastball could decrease nearly a mile and half per hour. One or two days of rest per week appears to be the ideal situation for Betances, with the additions of Miller and Chapman, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Of his 74 appearances in 2015, Betances came on to record three outs 26 times. With reinforcements behind him, that number will likely decrease, and so will the wear on his right arm.

If the Yankees want their All-Star to pitch with effectiveness down the stretch, a closer eye on the days-in-a-row pitched is vital. 80 appearances is certainly a possibility, maybe even a goal, but just think about the elite level all 80 of those appearances will be when there are separated by days rest.

Don’t worry, Yankee fans. Betances won’t pitch less, just more effective.

Related Story: Chapman Impresses in First Bullpen