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.
Mets minor league outfielder and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow was recently promoted from Single-A Columbia to advanced Single-A St. Lucie. Critics suggested that, because Tebow wasn’t exactly lighting up competition with Columbia, the promotion was just about marketing.
Tebow, to his credit, has gotten off to a good start with St. Lucie. In his first at-bat with his new team, he hit a two-run home run, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead. The home run came on a 3-1 count against starter Junior Fernandez of the Palm Beach Cardinals. Fernandez is the Cardinals’ No. 10 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.
With Columbia, Tebow was hitting a paltry .220/.311/.336 with three home runs and 23 RBI in 244 plate appearances.
The Cardinals announced on Wednesday that shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been optioned to Triple-A Memphis and infielder Alex Mejia’s contract has been purchased from Memphis.
Diaz, 26, impressed last season when he posted an .879 OPS and finished fifth in National League Rookie of the Year balloting. This year has been rough on Diaz, as he’s batting .260/.293/.396 with seven home runs and 20 RBI in 288 plate appearances. He’s the second major Cardinals player to get sent down to the minors along with Randal Grichuk.
Diaz was surprised by the demotion. Via MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch:
Mejia, 26, opened the season with Double-A Springfield but was promoted to Triple-A two weeks ago. With Springfield, he hit .251/.305/.366 in 251 PA. In 42 PA with Memphis, he hit .263/.333/.289.