Newman: “Doubtful” the Yankees will let Betances pitch in winter ball

What Went Right: One-Run Games
The Five Shortest Yankees Homers of 2013

Via Chad Jennings: It’s unlikely the Yankees will allow Dellin Betances to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic. “It’s doubtful right now,” said VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman. The right-hander asked to play in winter ball so he could continue working on some mechanical stuff.

Betances, 25, moved to the bullpen permanently in May and pitched to a 1.34 ERA with 83 strikeouts (29.3%) and 26 walks (9.2%) in 60.2 relief innings for Triple-A Scranton. He allowed six runs in five big league innings, but struck out ten and walked two. Betances will be out of options next year, meaning he can’t go to the minors without first passing through waivers. That won’t happen, someone would definitely claim him. Brian Cashman confirmed the 6-foot-8 righty will compete for a bullpen spot in Spring Training during his end-of-season press conference.

“This year is a big year for me. This is pretty much it. Either I make the team, or I’m with someone else, so I’m definitely looking forward to Spring Training,” said Betances to Jennings. “I feel great. I got the chance to come back up [to the big leagues], and I’m learning a lot. I haven’t had enough experience, but I think next year will be the year.”

What Went Right: One-Run Games
The Five Shortest Yankees Homers of 2013
  • Frank

    25 years old and what do the Yanks know about Betances? They bring him up in September only for him to sit and rot in the BP. Yet, you have the Cardinals, A’s and Rays producing pitchers like their going out of style. Cards have Wacha, Rosenthal and Martinez all on their current playoff roster pitching in high leverage situations, each of whom is 3 years younger than Betances. Is it player development? Scouting? Both? Don’t know, but there is something that isn’t working for the Yanks. The Cards drafted Wacha in 2011 with the 19th pick (similar to where the Yanks draft next year) and this guy is practically pitching a no-hitter in the playoffs within 2 years. I’m betting that won’t happen anytime soon with the Yanks, whether it be a pitcher or position player. Rather, all we hear is how this player or that player is 2 years away, yet 2 years pass and then it’s another player or two who are 2 years away.

    • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

      You forgot the Braves too.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      We don’t hear about it half as much as we hear guys whining about it like it’s an original thought of theirs.

      • Gene

        It’s a blog dude. People are going to post their opinions. Do you really think you’ve ever had an original thought?

        • Dohrmann

          A blog is not an excuse to say stupid things out of ignorance.

          • tmoney

            So then why did you?

    • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

      The Yankees essentially did not have a first round draft pick in 2009 (Teixeira), 2010 (32nd pick because we won the WS) or 2011 (R. Soriano)- so that could be part of the problem.

    • Dohrmann

      While there is undoubtedly a difference at the macro level between the Yankees and Cards’ orgs, bringing that down to the level of the individual P (Betances) is most likely incorrect. We don’t see an abnormal number of the guys the Yankees fail to develop going to other orgs and suceeding, and even the most successful farm systems fail to develop a ton of talented players. We have no evidence at all that were Betances in the Cards system he would become Wacha, nor do I think it’s particularly likely. The org plays a large role in developing a player, but the majority of the responsibility for a player’s success or failure is ultimately on them. We see a ton of talented guys bounce around to different orgs without figuring it out and we see some guys overcoming the odds to figure it out in a bad org or without being given many chances.

      How young are commenters on here? Literally a few years ago the Yankees did have three or four stud young Ps who raced through their system and find instant MLB success. (No it wasn’t sustained, but we have no idea if the Cards’ guys will sustain it.)

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      The Cards made him the 19th overall pick in the 2012 draft. He signed on June 14th, 2012, so he’s been in pro ball for little over a year. Kid looks like the goods. Don’t believe the Bombers have ever had as good a right-handed pitching prospect come up in my lifetime. Damn the Cardinals!

    • john


  • Chris

    It’s almost impossible for him to be worse than Joba this year. If that’s the case, he’s got a spot waiting for him already.

  • I’m One

    Why wouldn’t the Yankees let him pitch in winter ball? Seems like a curious move to me. I would think it would help him prepare for next season when the Yankees might actually need hi.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Injury history? 60 innings isn’t Boone Logan territory, but it is about a season’s worth of work.

      • Mikhel

        To be fair, in the winter baseball leagues, MLB/MiLB starting pitchers don’t throw a lot of innings, 25-32 tops for most of them.

  • Chris in Maine

    I give him credit for wanting to continue to work. Hopefully he continues to improve.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Certainly. He knows it’s his last chance to do it pinstripes. He’s a local boy. You never stop rooting for a guy like this.

  • mick taylor

    things should improve now that gil patterson is the minor leagur coordinator. he did a grat job in oakland

  • Mikhel

    Per the new Winter Agreement, players in the 40 man rosters will not be allowed to play winter ball in México, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico nor Venezuela.

    A lot was discussed but in the end MLB pulled their strings to ban Cuba from playing winter ball during the next Caribbean Series in Venezuela. Cuba’s addition to the Caribbean Baseball Confederation will have to wait for a few more years, until MLB gives their approval.

    It seems that players who last season were prominent in their respective leagues during winter won’t come back to play ball, among them: Marlon Byrd (Pirates) and Luis Ayala (Atlanta), both of them helped México win 2013’s edition of the Caribean Series.

    What it has not been talked a lot is if players on the 40 man rosters can play with permission of MLB and/or their respective MLB clubs, though from a few years ago, most MLB clubs were denying permissions to their best players… long gone are the days when players like Piazza, Kruk, Rickey Henderson, Schilling and others played during winter to help them in their development (even Larsen and Whitey Ford played as rookies back in the day, in México).

  • RetroRob

    I’d say he’s a lock for one of the six bullpen slots to start the year, no matter how he pitches in Spring Training. He might get cut if he doesn’t pitch well as the season progresses, but they’ll find a spot for him.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      I’d be surprised if he’s still Yankee property come opening day.

  • Monty

    Can you imagine if he was drafted by the Rays? He would be as good as David Price right now… Poor Guy. I feel bad for him.

    • Dohrmann

      This seems to be the sentiment around here, and I’m not sure there’s any evidence to support it. I’m not sure why people have decided that these teams do something magical with their kids rather than just picking the right kids. Certainly there is some of both, but in general I think it’s a lot more of the latter.

      David Price, by the way, is a terrible example of the former. Guy was the consensus #1 overall pick out of one of the top NCAA programs for Ps and the Rays barely touched him before he became a star. Based use of that example doesn’t say much about your knowledge of the subject.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        God bless you, Dorhmann, and your youthful RAB comment section enthusiasm.

  • FLYER7

    The Yankees take traditional minor to major route, rookie to A to AA to AAA..they don’t tend to start people at mid levels, skip levels or do two levels in a year like other organizations…

    • Dohrmann

      The Yankees are actually known for being quite aggressive with their top prospects (in recent years you can see this with Montero, Hughes, Joba, and IPK). You have to be a top and/or advanced prospect, though, to get moved so aggressively. I think that a lot of fans confuse the causation there. If the Yankees had more top prospects or just advanced NCAA guys, they’d probably move them faster.