Sherman: Yankees permanently shifting Betances to the bullpen


Via Joel Sherman: The Yankees are permanently shifting Dellin Betances to the bullpen. “This is the problem with the development clock,” said Brian Cashman. “If he had two or three more (minor league) options, we would keep working with him as a starter. But with him being out of options after this year, it is becoming more obvious that if he is going to help us, it is going to be out of the pen.”

Betances, 25, has pitched to a 6.00 ERA (3.91 FIP) with 9.38 K/9 (23.4 K%) and 6.00 BB/9 (15.0 BB%) in 24 innings for Triple-A Scranton this year. He still throws hard and his curveball gets swings and misses, but he’s made zero progress refining and repeating his delivery since signing for $1M as the team’s eighth round pick in 2006. Relievers have a much better chance of surviving with bad command than starters, so hopefully something clicks. Moving Betances to the bullpen is both completely unsurprising and probably a few weeks overdue.

Categories : Asides, Minors
  • MannyGeee

    sadface. I fully expect to see him closing for Milwaukee in 2015.

    • Deep Thoughts

      Will be traded with Mikey O’Brien to the Cubs for Cody Ransom at the deadline after Youkilis and Nix both get injured turning the same double play.

  • Pinkie Pie


  • Eddard

    Another pitching prospect another bust.

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    Looking forward to seeing him come in from the pen throwing 98 and blowing hitters away.

    Let’s go Dellin.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Hell yeah.

      I never stop rooting for the Brooklyn kid. He’s a New Yorker through and through. Let’s get to pinstripes, Dellin. Do or die time.

      • Mandy Stankiewicz

        Grand Street Campus–North Brooklyn isn’t loosing faith in its ace

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I’m sitting in North Brooklyn right now. Let’s hear it for Dellin!

          • Mandy Stankiewicz

            Other Yankees from Bushwick?
            Phil Rizzuto.

            • Young Whippersnapper


              • Robinson Tilapia


              • Deep Thoughts

                Best known for his larger-than-life portrayal of George Steinbrenner in the feature film “The Money Store.”

      • vicki

        he should just go play small forward for the nets.

      • Jeremy estevez

        He’s actually not from Brooklyn. He lived in Brooklyn because of where he went to school. He’s from the LES!

        • Aroach

          I’m not sure what you all are talking about, he’s off the boat dominican. I played against him while I was the captain of WC Bryant HS in 2006, as captains we speak about certain things and he couldn’t even speak English. Lets go DR!

  • EndlessMIke

    He’ll be blowing hitters away… first base when he is walking the park.

  • Scout

    “probably a few weeks overdue.” I’d say two years, but then I’m a conservative about these things.

    • Havok9120

      Two years?? Yikes. That’s one quick trigger finger you’ve got there.

      • Preston

        It also wouldn’t have made any sense. His 2011 in AA was arguably Dellin’s best season. Why would you have moved him to the pen? His prior success definitely earned him a long leash before giving up and throwing him to the pen. It wasn’t reasonable to move him until maybe the last month or two of last season (they demoted him to AA instead) or the start of this season (they probably didn’t solely because they had an open rotation spot).

        • Scout

          I was speaking tongue-in-cheek, folks. But I was also never on the Betances bandwagon; I thought the glimpses of success were a tease, and he never sustained them.

  • True Pinstriped Blue

    Watch out calling him a bust or Dellin’s mom will have to come on here and straighten you all out. Sorry Momsley

  • jsbrendog

    so joba’s replacement next year. I can dig it

    • Ryan Tenpenny

      Preston Claiborne has a very good chance to be Joba’s replacement.

  • LK

    Is Cashman really suggesting that if they could, they’d leave him in the minors to work on starting until he’s 28 years old? You’re basically wasting his prime on AAA hitters at that point.

    • Gonzo

      He’s basically saying that what’s good for the ballclub isn’t always what’s good for the ballplayer. At least that’s how I read it.

    • FachoinaNYY

      I think the idea is that often larger size pitchers take longer to get their mechanics in order and figure everything out. So if they could they would like to keep him down there but since they don’t have that luxury they will try to get some value out of him.

  • Travis L.

    Why is everyone calling him a bust? What if he does his best Mariano Rivera impression and becomes a shut down late inning reliver? Maybe pitching 1 or 2 innings lets him learn to control his pitches in short spurts. If he does well in the ‘pen, I cant see calling him a bust. Hell, Mariano was a bust at starting too fellas!!

    • Travis L.


    • Robinson Tilapia

      …and to almost take joy in calling him a bust. I bet you half those fans have never stepped foot in NYC. This is a local kid. You root for his ass.

      I’m really curious as to what one inning at a time will do. Really want to see him turn things around. This is a kid we’ve been watching since he was in high school.

    • Steve (different one)

      I don’t like the idea of calling these low probability/high ceiling guys like Betances and Brackman “busts”. They aren’t busts, they just are who they are….we drooled over their upside, but the bottom line is neither had much of a floor.

      If he can become a useful reliever, that will be a coup for the team, not a letdown.

      • Bob Buttons

        Oh, Brackman may have been a bust. He’s a first rounder after all, and he didn’t even do that well in the minors to earn any prolonged major league time.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          We went through this in a thread the other day. Brackman was a huge swing for the fences. Nothing wrong with that. MASSIVE ceiling, low probability.

          • Rockdog

            I totally agree with this. And of, by the way, most prospects bust — playing baseball at the Major League level is very, very hard.

          • Slugger27

            right, but it doesnt mean he wasnt a bust.

    • Grant

      He’s no Rivera, c’mon man. I’d say his chances of ever helping the team are one in fifty? So yeah, he’s a bust.

      • mustang

        Please how do you know?

        Btw Einstein when they move Rivera to the bullpen they were hoping for a set-up man at best.

        This is what I love about this place people making definitive statements about prospects like they have a crystal ball up their ass.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Clearly, he’s utilizing Athenian’s statistician. Don’t fucking argue one in fifty. He performed a complex regression analysis, stuck that through a T-test and, then, pissed on it.

    • Mike

      mariano was a decent if not good pitcher in the minors, which is why he actually started ML games before being moved to the pen.

      Betances cant throw two consecutive pitches to the same place in AA.

    • Bob Buttons

      While I don’t agree with your logic, I agree with your overall opinion.

      A few things that led to Mariano’s success. One, he had pin-point control, and it shows a bit in his minor league stats. Two, he was great in the minors, just didn’t have the stuff to get by major leaguers consistently. Three, if he didn’t turn into full time relief, he may have end up being a solid back-end starter. After all, he did show some promise in the 8 inning 2 hit game against the White Sox. Betances have NONE of these. I really doubt Betances would be anything other than a Henry Rodriguez/Joel Zumaya type reliever.

      People tend to forget. He’s an eighth-round pick, and believe it or not, 1M is no longer the record for 8th rounders. It is just utterly stupid to call him a bust, even if he literally contributes nothing. I think being a top prospect after getting drafted in the 8th round was pretty over-achieving, regardless of why he is still available then.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        No one is saying the sitautions are exactly the same.

        Betances has the kind of stuff Rivera wishes he had coming up.

        It’s a different reason why neither was likely to succeed as an MLB starter, but each pitcher has their own reasons why they’re likely to work better as a reliever.

        It’s absolutely worth the effort. What else is there to do at this point?

        • Bob Buttons

          Blame Cashman.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Cashman failed.

            • Bob Buttons

              Maybe one day there’ll be #OppenheimerFailed if our top prospects keep biting the dust.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                That requires a type of brain adjustment they’re not capable of.

      • mustang

        So off ONE GAME you predicted that Mariano could of been a ” solid back-end starter'”. How old are you I ask because I saw Mariano the starter and believe me solid back-end starter he was not.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Bob’s a pretty reasonable commenter. I think he’s got the rose-colored-hindsight glasses on with Mariano the starter, but he’s a reasonable commenter.

        • Bob Buttons

          Emphasis on “may have”, which is quite different (at least for my usage) from could have. I don’t know about other people but I use “may” when there’s a great amount of uncertainty, and “could” when it is likely. I’m not saying the likelihood was high, but can we say for sure that pin-point control and a hard fastball (94 was it?) wouldn’t get you 180 IP and 4.50 ERA? (FWIW that’s roughly the mid-point between Hughes and Nova last year.) I’ve heard that he had no viable secondary pitch, if any, (time erodes memories), but he wasn’t too old to learn a new pitch or two (as history have proven). We hear pitchers try new pitches every spring, so who’s to say he doesn’t learn a viable secondary pitch and carve himself a respectable career as a journeyman 5th starter?

          And to answer your question, I don’t watch Yankees games. In my entire life I’ve set foot in Yankees territory for less than a week. All I get is when the Yanks come to town, overall. Besides, it’s been almost twenty years. Do you honestly remember about guys who you’ve seen a handful times that long ago?

      • mike

        He was bought off from going to Vandy, i think…which is why he fell so far

    • Preston

      Because people have unreasonable expectations of prospects. He’s an 8th round pick. It isn’t all that likely that an 8th round guy makes it to the majors. I think maybe you change your analysis since he was a top 100 prospect. But even so, the success rate (average big league player) is pretty small for the pitchers in the 50-100 range. All in all, if he’s a useful bullpen piece, that is a success, even if it isn’t what we once dreamed he’d be.

      • Robinson Tilapia


        This is where all the “Killer B’s” hoopla gets in the way. It was cute, but it was also Banuelos and two guys for which a ton has/had to go right with.

        He is still a kid who got drafted because of VERY raw stuff who has had a ton of trouble getting past himself.

        But hey, blame Cashman. Blame Oppenheimer. Blame someone. It’s the American way.

        • Travis L.

          And for Joel Sherman to declare the Killer B’s “dead” as prospects is dumb. Just because Brackman didn’t pan out, Betances is moving to the pen and Banuelos is recovering from TJ. He is a tool sometimes. Banuelos could still be a good starter, even after the TJ. Happens a lot. And like you said…if Betances becomes a decent reliever, then two out of three, aint bad at all!!

          • Preston

            If you have three top 100 pitching prospects the likely outcome is one league average starter, league average reliever and nothing. And Brackman was never a top 100 guy, he was a big name because of the pre-injury draft hype that he’d be a top ten pick.

  • The DonSlaught

    I think best case at this point is his doing very well in the pen in the bigs and then being used as a sweetener in a trade somewhere.

  • Virginia Yankee

    If he turns into a righty Aroldis Chapman, I could live with it.

    • Havok9120

      How gracious of you.

    • Steve (different one)

      Well as long as we manage our expectations…

      • Preston

        Old expectations, right handed Randy Johnson; new expectations, right handed Aroldis Chapman. So basically if he’s not one of the most freakish and dominant pitchers of all time, BUST!!!

  • mustang

    Its ok never knows how these things work out. I remember a young starter back in the day who could only last 3 or 4 innings they end up putting him in bullpen his name Mariano Rivera. So let see how the bullpen things works out before calling the kid a bust.

    • Commenter from an Alternate Universe

      Grant says:
      May 10, 1996 at 3:11 pm

      He’s no Guidry, c’mon man. I’d say his chances of ever helping the team are one in fifty? So yeah, he’s a bust.

      • Young Whippersnapper

        What does the ex-pitching coach have to do with some failed prospect from 1996?

        • Preston

          Do you not know who Ron Guidry is beyond being a pitching coach? He’s one of the greatest Yankee pitchers of all time.

          • vicki

            i’m assuming this is (weak) shtick, based on the handle.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Look at the screen name. They’re joking.

            I pray this screen name shows up for the Horace Clarke and Ron Blomberg mentions.

  • trr

    Hoping for the best, but honestly? not sure this will make a speck of difference.

  • Dellin’s A Bust

    It’s not a problem with the development clock. It’s a problem with how the organization doesn’t develop prospects especially pitchers. They need to revamp the structure of the farm system. They’re not developing the talent and I don’t want to hear anymore excuses. They have more resources than any other franchise by a mile.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      And that’s how we (t)roll around here.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      To be fair they have done a good job with relievers.

    • LarryM Fl

      MO, Robertson, Pettitte, Hughes, Phelps, Nova, Chamberlin and a host of good pitchers on the farm getting shots at the bigs of late. Seems as if they are doing OK. I may fine fault with the injuries but it could be bad luck not instructional. I don’t hear more of the great Ranger experiment with pitchers throwing until their arm falls off to build arm strength.

      • Preston

        The fact is that most teams don’t develop starting pitchers successfully. The Yankees are pretty middle of the road in getting production from home grown pitchers. And I would say that they’re overall production is suppressed because they fill many roles with FA’s rather than being forced into using cheaper home grown options. People like to look at the Rays and say Cashman failed. But very few teams are producing young pitchers consistently. And most who do got those pitchers in the top half of the first round, where we never have a pick (I know winning sucks #Yankeeproblems).

      • Steve

        They’re very good at developing relievers and that’s great and it’s important. But it’s not the least bit concerning that the only consistently successful starting pitcher on that list was developed 20 years ago? Hughes is a success I guess, though he’s still way too inconsistent for my tastes plus all the future ace garbage he came up with leaves you a bit hollow inside. Robertson and Chamberlain are relievers and Nova and Phelps are unproven but have back-end potential and might be headed for long man status.

        • Preston

          Every 5th starter in baseball is either a non-prospect who over achieved or a future ace who under-achieved. If you listen to the prospect hype you will almost always be disappointed in the results.

  • LarryM Fl

    For all those who call the kid a bust. You are entitled to opinion but it maybe a little narrow in the process. Delin has a problem staying within a good delivery as a starter. In other words he is all over the place. Gets caught in bad counts then gets pounded. The change to the fulltime stretch maybe the answer.

    Maybe he was never meant to be a starter just too big and has two left feet. A guy with all his physical tools is not a bust until the Yanks or Delin calls it a day. Is Joba a bust, he’s not a starter that honestly is a mystery to the fanbase. I like hearing about kids from southern NY NYC and surrounding suburbs signing and making it to the bigs. The kid is talented enough to be given this chance to relieve.

    I wish him well. Throwing 95+ with even a decent curve. Has a place in any teams bullpen. Maybe the Brooklyn kid has the stones to pitch in the tough situations.

  • Bob

    When are the Yankees gonna hire scouts who can actually scout?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Thank god we finally got someone from HR to comment around here.

      • LarryM Fl

        Now that was funny! you may have to explain HR.

        • Bob Buttons

          Or explain what HR stands for.

  • mustang

    To all you genius with the crystal ball up your Asses the young Mo who backed up John Wetteland did so with an amazing fastball. The legendary Mo cutter was develop later by mistake and he originally had so little control of it that he and Mel Stottlemyre try for hours to fix it and they even consider dropping it all together.
    Just an example of how things develop and no one saying this kid will be the next Rivera, but predicting him a “bust” without seeing what he can do in the pen is like predicting the next good hitting Venezuelan prospect to be the next Miguel Cabrera.

    • mustang

      Btw the statement about Mo’s cutter came from Mo.

      • vicki

        mo’s statement about the cutter was “god gave it to me.”

        say your prayers, dellin!

    • THC Mondesi

      It’s Friday, he’s counting down the minutes until he can leave work, and mustang cannot for the life of him stop thinking about people with crystal balls up their asses. “Hey you with your TPS reports and your fancy software predicting how productive I’ll be in the next year whaddaya got a crystal ball up your ass?” “Oh you think you’re gonna have a fun weekend smart-guy take the crystal ball outta your ass and tell me what I’m having in my cream of wheat on Monday willya?” And so it goes… as he shuffles off into the sunset, muttering udner his breath about crystal balls in people’s asses.

  • vicki

    now come on, y’all. we should all be pulling for the kid, but you can’t be serious proposing a mariano rivera template for anybody but mariano rivera.

    • Preston

      Just like we’ve been waiting for him to figure it out as a starter like Randy Johnson did. His control problems have always limited his upside. The idea that he was going to become a front end starter was always looking at extreme outliers only, and imagining him becoming the GOAT of relievers is also looking at outliers. The good news is there are plenty of hard throwing relievers with control problems who have had success and he could be one of them.

      • mustang


  • Ryan Tenpenny

    Preston Claiborne could be Joba’s replacement.

  • cb

    Does anybody see a trend here? We have lost more prospects within the Yankees farm system than any other team in baseball.We seem to be missing the baseball people that produced the core from the 96 team on…… that has proven itself in the majors.

    • Preston

      You obviously follow no other farm systems. Pitching prospects in every organization have an alarming attrition rate.

    • Alkaline

      Oh really? We lost the most prospects than any other team? Care to cite any sources besides blind, irrational, and baseless rhetoric?

  • Frank

    “Every reliever is a failed starter,” Cashman said. “Mariano Rivera is a failed starter. He is going to the Hall of Fame, but he is a failed starter. We will see what we have here (with betances).”

    I don’t disagree, but if we’re talking about our Mariano Rivera, maybe there is a more diplomatic/respectful way of saying that?

    • Deep Thoughts

      Oh pull the crystal ball out of your ass.

  • slowleftarm

    Regardless of whether he should be labeled a bust at this point, Dellin needs to find home plate. Whether you start or relieve you can’t be successful at any level walking the number of guys he’s walked pretty much throughout his minor league career.