FanPost

Betances: over-reaction or trend?


I am fully aware it is early, very early, but his struggles now are the same that plagued him last season. The man is a conundrum to me. His stuff can be lights out, yet for the last several outings dating back to last season, he's been a liability.

By no means am I a pitching coach at the major league level, but from where I'm sitting, comfortably on my couch, I think he's been figured out. A lot of relievers only have 2 pitches, heck Mo had one, but it seems like in Delly's case, hitters are gearing up on his fastball. His curveball is devastating, but the fastball is flat. The fact he throws as hard as he does, isn't as relevant in today's game as it would have been 7-10 years ago. Guys see these velocities nearly every other game, so a fastball, even one as hard as his isn't scaring these guys, especially when it's flat.

The solution, IMO, is he needs to develop a 3rd pitch. I was hoping after the struggles of last season, that would have been on his agenda this off season, but clearly it wasn't. Instead, all his issues were blamed on mechanics, and while I'm sure they played a role in his struggles, they weren't his only issue.

What surprises me, is with ex-players like Pettite and Mo hanging around the team on some sort of a regular basis, and a current vet like CC, is that he hasn't learned to throw a cutter. He has a great arm angle for it and would probably have great 1 to 7/2 to 8 break on it. Along with his curveball and fastball, that particular pitch would be perfect. It's also not a hard pitch to learn, it's thrown exactly like the fastball, just close the gap on the fingers and grip the right side of the "U" on the seams. It doesn't need to be as good as Mo's or CC's or Pettite's, it just needs to be effective enough to keep hitters from teeing off on his heater.

As it stands now, I don't think he should be in the game in high pressure/important points. 6th inning guy or in games they're behind. If he didn't have struggles last year, this wouldn't even be crossing my mind 3 games into a season, but it's more of the same of last year and that's not a good thing if Boone and Co. think he's an 8th inning guy in close games

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