With their season on the line tonight the Rays will be facing a rookie who was called up a week ago and has never started a big-league game before, as the Yankees announced that they’ll go with 23-year-old right-hander Dellin Betances in Game 162.
Betances is one of the best pitching prospects in baseball, but his first and only MLB appearance involved giving up two runs and walking four batters in two-thirds of an inning as a reliever last week.
Prior to being called up Betances split the season between Double-A and Triple-A, throwing 126 innings with a 3.70 ERA and 142/70 K/BB ratio. He has excellent raw stuff and a very bright future, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Betances struggle with his control tonight. And he’ll probably be a limited pitch count too.
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.