Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Maturation Of Dellin Betances

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

He toiled away in the Minors for so long that I didn't even consider him a prospect anymore coming into this season.  If anything, Dellin Betances was still a project at 25 years old and turning 26 before Opening Day.  Despite being in the Yankee system since 2006 and making his Major League debut in 2011, Betances only had 7.2 innings pitched in 8 games in his Major League career.  Once thought of as a potential ace starting pitching prospect, the Yankees finally gave up on that dream early last season and converted Betances to a full-time relief role.

Pretty Sure I Sneaky Woke Up Brian Roberts

One week ago today:

"It's hard to argue with the decision to play Solarte ... but why Roberts? He's hitting .200/.250/.267 against left-handed pitching, as a right-handed hitter, and only .222/.321/.292 overall. He isn't hitting from either side of the plate against pitchers throwing with either hand and he's proven to be below-average at second by most statistical defensive measures (obligatory SSS disclaimer). What has he done to earn more regular playing time against left-handed pitching or in general over Johnson?"

Since that post:

5 games played, 7-20, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R, 1 SB, season batting line up to .250/.327/.337

So yeah, the only explanation for this turnaround is that Brian Roberts is a regular AB4AR reader, saw my post about him and Kelly Johnson, saw me chirping him for playing like crap, and decided it was time to start playing.  What other possibility could there be?  No need to thank me, it's all part of the job.  I'm just glad I could do my part and glad that the AB4AR jinx worked in reverse for a change.

Game 32 Wrap-Up: NYY 4 LAA 3

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

It's been a horrifically ugly 6 games for the Yankees in the last week.  They're 1-5 in those games, their multi-game lead in the division is gone, and there haven't been any signs of things turning around soon.  They haven't pitched well at times, they haven't hit well most of the time, and their team defense has cost them more runs that its saved.  Hiroki Kuroda was on the mound to start last night, looking to get things going in the right direction for himself and the staff, while Joe went back to Carlos Beltran in right, Jacoby Ellsbury at the top, and Brett Gardner back at the bottom of the lineup to get the offense going.

Game Notes:

- Joe's changes had little effect early.  The Yanks were held scoreless through the first 4, managing only a pair of walks and a single.  They stranded 2 in the top of the 3rd.

- Fortunately for them, Hirok was working and looked very much like the pitcher we've known over the last 2 years.  He gave up 2 runs in the 3rd, but that was mainly due to more shitty infield defense.  His sinker had good life and he was finally commanding his slider and splitter down.

- The Yankees decided to join the scoring party in the top of the 5th on 3 straight singles, the last by Brian Roberts to score a run, but had the festivities halted by a Jacoby Ellsbury RBI GIDP.  They scratched across a third run in the 8th to take a 3-2 lead.

- Very strong finish for Kuroda, who retired 9 of the final 10 batters he faced, 4 of them via strikeout.  He pitched 2 outs into the 8th and left after giving up a triple to Mike Trout.

- Joe had D-Rob at his disposal, but elected to go back to Shawn Kelley to get the final out of the inning.  Kelley gave up the game-tying single to Albert Pujols and all looked lost.

- Brian Roberts made sure it wasn't.  With 2 outs in the top of the 9th, Roberts crushed a first-pitch fastball from Ernesto Frieri into the RF seats for the go-ahead HR.  D-Rob locked the comeback win down with a 1-2-3 bottom half.