Just over a year ago the New York Yankees bullpen was nearly unstoppable. They had Aroldis Chapman, one of the best closers in the game, Andrew Miller, one of the most unreadable left handers, and Delin Betances. They were referred to often as the three-headed monster.
They had a routine that worked out very well for New York, and not so good for any opponents to cross their path. Miller was the seventh inning guy, Betances was the set-up man and Chapman was their closer. The trio would not last long forever. Last season they were forced to be departed in a questionable move by the Yankees.
Their routine has come to an end, at least for the Yankees. Two of them are now on different teams. The Yankees said goodbye to both Miller and Chapman last season. Miller is now on the Cleveland Indians, and Chapman went to the Chicago Cubs. For Chapman, the deal worked out well as he was a part of the Cubs Championship team.
He was overworked by Chicago but he played a big part in them putting an end to their century long quest to win the World Series. Although the Yankees do not have as lethal of a bullpen as they used to, they still have Delin Betances.
With his towering height and pin-point location, he was held the fort down for New York to say the least. He has been a valuable asset to the team. It does not look like anytime soon he will be wearing another uniform, although Betance’s agent and team president were bumping heads recently.
Team president Randy Levine criticized Betances and his agent for requesting $5 million in attribution. The New York Yankees ended up winning their recent attribution case on Saturday, according to the New York Post. Levine argued that Betances was not a closer.
He may be right in some form. He is not a full-time closer, but he has done it before and has displayed his ability to take on the role. When New York needed him in the slot in the past, he stepped up and got the job done for the Yankees.
Last season Betances had some time as a closer. He recorded a total of 12 saves through 73 innings, while striking out 126 opponents. He had a record of 3-6 on the season, posting a 3.08 ERA. Being a closer is not the role that Betances is most familiar with.
As a set up man, he has had massive success. Betances has been extremely consistent, and his availability could not be better for New York. He is a very depended on member of their pitching staff. His amount of innings has only increased season to season.
If the Yankees wanted, they could use Betances for multiple roles, but they do not want to label him or pay him as a closer. Going forward if they are to hit a road block in their closer department, and they need a temporary replacement, there may be no better pitcher to turn the closer duties to than Betances. His place on the team has been certain since being on the Yankees though, as a set-up man.
Is being a set-up man the best role for Betances? Does Levine have an argument or no? Can the New York Yankees bullpen become unstoppable again? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Commentary by Cody Macleod