Yankees cannot use Dellin Betances for more than one inning


Just because Yankees manager Aaron Boone says that he will continue to use reliever Dellin Betances in multiple-inning outings, doesn’t mean he should. And here’s why.

There have been times this season when Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances looks like the man who went to four straight All-Star Games from 2014-2017. His 1-2-3 seventh-inning on Thursday night is a perfect example of that.

Perhaps because the score was 4-0 Red Sox, and there was no pressure to hold the lead, Betances freely attacked the strike zone and reminded us why the Yanks continue to go to the well so often.

Then in the bottom of the seventh, the Yankees’ bats were no-longer waterlogged (previous 55-minute rain delay), as the Bombers put a four-spot on the board to tie the contest, continuing to exult that never say die attitude.

But then Betances came back out in the eighth. And it didn’t take long for the leadoff batter, J.D. Martinez, to hit a line drive home run to right field just over the outstretched arm of Aaron Judge.

For those that contend it was fan interference that wouldn’t allow for Judge to come up with the game-saving grab; Judge told Newsday that wasn’t the case.

"“I ran into him [the fan], but once you get past that line, it’s fair game,’’ Judge said. “For me, if I get a better read and jump at the right time and get in a better position, I make the play. That’s what it comes down to.”"

I’ve also heard from Betances Believers, that Martinez’s homer wouldn’t have been so in any another other MLB park.

What kind of nonsense is that? The game was played at Yankee Stadium where it’s 314-feet down the right-field line. Statcast estimates the home run ball went 350-feet. It’s the same distance for both clubs and is likely never to change. So should Betances only pitch away games then?

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Three times this season, Betances has pitched multiple innings and each time he has given up runs during that second frame. I’m well aware Chad Green and Aroldis Chapman were unavailable after pitching the previous two games; however, Chasen Shreve, who pitched the top of the ninth inning — and David Roberston, who watched from the bullpen, would have been better suited for the eighth because of Betances’ dicy track record.

Even still, the Yankees also had right-handers A.J. Cole and David Hale waiting in the wings. Yes, both are considered “long relievers,” and are solely viewed as insurance for Domingo German, but they’re on the 25-man roster, are they not?

Cole hasn’t pitched since April 28 — Hale since April 27 for the Twins. If you don’t trust either in a tied game — one that always has the chance to extend well into the night, why not make a roster move that allows for a more traditional middle reliever like Cody Carroll or Nestor Cortes?

So what neither is on the 40-man roster! Fire up the DFA machine, because it appears Tommy Kahnle won’t return to the majors until the end of May and Adam Warren, sometime in June.

At times this season, Betances has shown glimmers of hope; that he’s finally figured out what made him virtually unusable during the 2017 Postseason. His 30:5 K:BB ratio in 16 innings is terrific.

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However, an inability to keep runners on base close — and fielding his position poorly is just the tip of the iceberg. Betances’ 5.63 ERA, 1.438 WHIP and four home runs allowed are the real issues at hand.

When it comes to Betances, if you’re going to use him in high-leverage situations, get what you can from him for one inning and then give him the hook. Pushing your luck, hoping for an equally solid second-frame isn’t worth the risk — and it only further damages Betances’ confidence when he fails to succeed.