A Solution to the Mystery of Dellin Betances and His Slow Start--A PSA Application

I would like to begin this FanPost by thanking Pinstripe Alley for giving us loyal Yankees fans the opportunity to write about our favorite team. Thank you for your time and consideration upon reviewing this article.

There is not much to complain about the 2018 Yankees. They are a young, hungry team looking to take on the best of the best in baseball and prove to the world why they are World Series contenders. Through their first 40 games, the Bombers are 28-12 which gives them a .700 win percentage, a half-game lead in a tough division, and the best record in baseball so far. There have been key contributions from a variety of players: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, and Didi Gregorius are all on pace to hit 40+ home runs with 100+ RBIs, Luis Severino has secured himself as the Yankee ace, and the bullpen remains intimidating and mostly dominant despite the injuries of Adam Warren and Tommy Kahnle. The Yankees deserve all of their early season praise; however, there are a few smudges on the roster that prevent the Yankees from looking like the clean-cut conquerors they should be. One of those smudges is Dellin Betances.

At the beginning of the 2017 season, Dellin Betances was the last player fans were concerned about. He was a dominant reliever and a 3-time, later 4-time, All-Star with a blazing fastball that touches 100 MPH and one heck of an unhittable yacker. By the end of the season, he was unwatchable. He lost his command completely, and people questioned his confidence and ability to bounce back.

Through the first 40 games of 2018, the Betances faithful are still quaking in their boots. He has a 5.00 ERA, and he has given up 18 hits and 4 home runs. Last season, Betances gave up only 29 hits and 3 home runs for the full season, and that was the shaky season! So why is Dellin Betances the guy you hold your breath for every time he exits the bullpen? It pains me to say it, but it's Aaron Boone.

Boone has done well for himself as a rookie manager. The production and chemistry of the team speaks for itself; however, Boone's decision to try and convert Dellin Betances into a two inning reliever has been abysmal. On 3/31, Betances pitched beautifully against the Toronto Blue Jays to a scoreless bottom half of the seventh in a back and forth 3-3 game. Instead of turning to another one of his elite relievers, Boone decides to send Betances back out to pitch the bottom of the eighth, and sure enough, he surrenders a solo home run to the first batter he sees, Yangervis Solarte. He then surrenders another run via a steal of home by Kevin Pillar. Needless to say, his confidence was shaken. The decision to keep Betances in for another inning cost the Yankees 1 of their 12 losses. Another blunder came against the Indians at home on 5/6. Again, Betances pitched the seventh inning beautifully--keeping Domingo Germán's no-hitter bid alive. You would think Boone would have learned his lesson by now, but instead he sends Betances out in the eighth once again, and sure enough, Betances blows the no-hitter and the lead. He gives up three earned runs to the Indians. Luckily, Gleyber Torres solidified himself as a fan favorite that same afternoon by hitting a three-run, walk-off home run to win it. The third instance came last week against the Red Sox on 5/10. The game was tied 4-4 in the top of the seventh, and Betances is called to keep the game tied. He does just that. Then, say it with me folks, Boone gets the idea to send Betances out in the eighth again, and sure enough, Betances blows the lead again! Betances surrenders a solo home run to the first batter he sees (remind me if you've heard this one before), and the Yankees lose the game. Betances' command and confidence are called into question once more.

So what do we do to address this problem? It's simple, let Betances pitch the seventh, and then give the ball to someone else. Give the man a chance to breathe. In fact, Betances has a history of under-performing towards the end of the season due to fatigue anyway, so why push him to go multiple innings this early in the season? Aaron Boone needs to let Dellin be Dellin, but who is Dellin? He's a strikeout machine for an inning, and he should stay that way. If Betances is the go-to guy for the seventh inning, then Boone should commit to that and allow Robertson to pitch the eighth and Chapman the ninth. After that, Sonny Gray will be the Yankees' biggest headache, but that's for another time.

FanPosts are user-created content and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Pinstripe Alley writing staff or SB Nation.