Betances (shoulder) has yet to resume throwing since being placed on the 10-day injured list April 8, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports. The Mets aren't planning on having Betances travel with the team during its upcoming six-game road trip that concludes April 22, so he'll remain on the shelf beyond the minimum 10 days. A target date for Betances' return is unlikely to emerge until he gets back on a mound.
Betances landed on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder impingement Thursday, Craig Mish of SportsGrid.com reports. Shoulder troubles wiped out almost the entirety of Betances' 2019 campaign, as he faced a total of just two batters. He also missed time last year with a lat injury. The severity of his latest injury is not yet clear, but it's hard to have much confidence in the 33-year-old's health given his recent history. Trevor Hildenberger was recalled in a corresponding move.
Betances' four-seamer averaged 90.6 mph in Tuesday's appearance against the Astros, down a couple ticks from earlier this spring, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports. He allowed two runs on a pair of hits (though one of those came on an outfield misplay) and a hit batsman while striking out one over one inning, and Betances has now given up six runs with a 2:3 K:BB in four innings this spring. It was reported earlier this spring that he had returned to his old arm slot after battling injuries in recent years, but something still isn't right for the towering righty. He should be considered a volatile middle reliever going forward.
Betances spent the offseason trying to regain flexibility in his shoulder and return to the arm slot he used during his peak years, Tim Britton of The Athletic reports. Injuries over the years dropped the right-hander's release point and had a huge impact on the movement of his fastball in particular, making it both harder to control and easier to hit when it was in the strike zone. Working with trainers at Rockland Peak Performance in New Jersey, Betances got healthier and regained range of motion in his shoulder before using high-speed cameras to break down his mechanics, going so far as to buy his own Rapsodo unit for use while traveling. His velocity has been encouraging to begin the spring, but the 32-year-old still has a long way to go to prove he's once again the pitcher who struck out triple-digit batters in five straight seasons as a late-inning weapon for the Yankees.
Betances' fastbabll was sitting in the low 90s during Friday's live batting practice session, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports. The right-hander typically takes a while to ramp up his velocity -- last year at this time he was topping out at 86 mph, before eventually averaging 93.6 mph during the abbreviated regular season -- so this is an encouraging start to the spring for Betances. The 32-year-old has yet to rediscover the heat he flashed in his Yankees heyday prior to an injury-riddled 2019, but a return to something close to that form would provide a big boost to a Mets bullpen that will be missing Seth Lugo (elbow) to begin the campaign.
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