NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In a season of bad luck and frustration for the Yankees, Dellin Betances has emerged as one of the best relievers in the game.
Despite being mostly a sixth- or seventh-inning guy, Betances has captured the attention of Major League Baseball and will get to showcase his stuff at Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Not bad for a young man who had been in Double-A working out command issues as late as 2012.
“I was emotional earlier, because it’s been hard work,” Betances told the Yankees’ website after hearing the news about his selection. “It’s been a long journey from all the years in the Minor Leagues — all the ups and downs, just to have such a good first half and for the players to vote for me, I’m truly humbled. It’s a crazy feeling for me right now. I’m enjoying each and every day here. I’m blessed to be a Yankee.”
The 6-foot-8 right-hander has been utterly dominant this season, his first full season in the majors, going 4-0 with a 1.46 ERA in 40 appearances. He has allowed just 23 hits and has walked 16 in 55 1/3 innings.
But it’s his insane number of strikeouts that has everyone talking — 84 to be exact. Betances is the only full-time reliever listed among the top 40 strikeout leaders in the majors.
“He’s a real weapon,” Yankees closer David Robertson told the Daily News prior to the Yankees’ 3-1, rain-shortened loss in Baltimore on Sunday.
Betances, who will join Yankees captain Derek Jeter and injured starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka in Minnesota, has been using a near-100 mph fastball and vicious slider to make many of the majors’ best hitters look silly. He told the Daily News he expects to get a shot against the National League’s best on Tuesday.
“I’m expecting to pitch,” the 26-year-old out of Brooklyn said. “Nobody’s told me anything and I know that at times guys don’t get to pitch because they save pitchers in case of extra innings. But I’m ready to pitch. I’m going with the mind-set that I am pitching.”
The Yankees (47-47) went into the break five games behind AL East-leading Baltimore and 3 1/2 out of the second wild card spot.
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