Relegated to seventh-inning duty early on, Dellin Betances eventually took over the closer role after Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman were dealt at the trade deadline. Betances cruised through the first half, posting a 2.66 ERA and ridiculous 16.0 K/9, but fatigue seemed to catch up to the 28-year-old during the final month. Betances, who has made 217 total appearances over the last three seasons, stumbled to a 9.64 ERA with eight walks in 9.1 innings after the start of September. Still, the skills seem to be holding steady and after a full offseason of rest, the righty figures to enter 2017 once again as one of the game's best relievers. He'll return to a setup role with the Yankees re-signing Chapman.
Betances looked effective in throwing live batting practice Thursday, and he's looking to strengthen his arm early, considering his throwing schedule has moved up because of the World Baseball Classic, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports. Betances admitted he suffered from fatigue near the end of that session, but in general he looks close to ready for spring and WBC action. Despite losing save chances again to Aroldis Chapman, the tall setup man will remain relevant in many fantasy leagues because of his copious strikeout totals.
Betances lost his arbitration case Saturday and will receive $3 million in 2017, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. He was seeking to make $5 million this year, his sixth with the Yankees. Betances has been an All-Star in three consecutive seasons while becoming one of most consistent relievers in the American League. He's expected to return to a set-up role this season with the re-signing of Aroldis Chapman.
Betances will move back into a setup role in 2017 with the Yankees' re-signing of Aroldis Chapman. If he were getting steady saves, Betances has the strikeout ability and ratios necessary to become a top-five closer, but instead he'll be used as part of the bridge to get the ball to Chapman in the ninth inning. Even without save opportunities, Betances is a useful staff filler in many formats, but his value takes an understandably large hit as a result of Chapman's return.
Betances came on to protect a four-run lead on Monday and failed to record an out, walking two and being charged with two runs. Betances seems to have simply run out of gas down the stretch this season. The righty has allowed eight runs over his last 2.1 innings. His ERA has jumped by more than a full point since the start of September. Betances did thrive in the closer role in August, and he should enter 2017 the favorite for saves in the Bronx.
Betances struck out one in a clean ninth to notch his 12th save of the season Tuesday against the Rays. Betances hadn't pitched since blowing a save and taking the loss late last week. In fact, the 28-year-old has been tagged as the losing pitcher in each of his last two appearances before bouncing back Tuesday. Overall, Betances is an unimpressive 12-for-17 in save chances this season.