Posted on September 18, 2019, by Bryan Zarpentine
As it turns out, the New York Yankees won’t have reliever Dellin Betances to help them out in the postseason. The club announced late Tuesday that Betances has suffered a partially torn Achilles that will force him back to the sidelines for the rest of 2019. He suffered the injury in his first appearance of the season on Sunday after missing a majority of the season due to shoulder issues and a lat strain he suffered during his rehab.
“[We’re] heartbroken for Dellin, knowing he worked so hard to get back to this point to be a factor for us and to have him successfully debut for us the other day and now this,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “I haven’t gotten to talk to him yet since the news — I heard the news during the game — but our heart goes out to him. Clearly, we’ve just gotta pick him up.”
Boone described the injury as “as freak as can be.” Betances took a small hop on the mound after throwing a strike during Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays. He didn’t feel much discomfort at the time but was sore when he arrived at Yankee’s Stadium for Tuesday’s game. Betances was sent to the hospital, where the diagnosis was made. At this point, the injury will be treated without surgery, although that could be an option depending on the healing process.
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“We’ve dealt with a lot of things obviously this year and this is another one,” said Boone. “We’ll support Dellin as best we can through this. He’s a big part of this still moving forward.”
For Betances, it’s possible that he’s thrown his last pitch in a Yankees uniform. He’s set to be a free agent after the season after spending his entire career in pinstripes. The Yankees could make re-signing him a priority. However, it’ll be interesting to see the market for Betances after the shoulder issue that kept him sidelined most of the year and now the Achilles injury. Of course, when healthy, Betances is one of the top late-inning relievers in baseball, so there should still be plenty of interest in him.
In the meantime, Betances will miss out on helping the Yankees chase the World Series. Boone is likely to use his bullpen liberally during the playoffs, and Betances would have been a key part of the bullpen if healthy. The good news is that the Yankees have survived without Betances in the bullpen all season. Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, Tommy Kahnle, Adam Ottavino, and others have formed one of the best bullpens in baseball. But you can never have enough power arms coming out of the bullpen in the postseason, and that’s what Betances could have provided for the Yankees.
“We’ve been one of the best teams in the sport all season and I would say our bullpen’s been one of the overwhelming strengths of this club, and that doesn’t change,” Boone said of losing Betances. “We know how great he is and what a difference-maker he is, but we certainly have the people there to continue to have our bullpen be a strength.”