Dellin Betances just wrapped up one of the most dominant relief outings one can possibly have.
Called on to relieve Chase Whitley in the bottom of the fifth inning against the Mets tonight, Betances got Eric Young, Jr. to ground out to third base to end a scoring threat and stand runners at second and third base. The 6-foot-8 right-hander then struck out the side in the sixth and seventh innings, showing off mid-90s heat on his fastball and a nasty knuckle-curve. Four of them were looking.
Betances was once a part of the “Killer Bs,” a group of highly-touted and hyped starting pitching prospects that also consisted of Manny Banuelos and Andrew Brackman, but he disappointed before moving to the bullpen full-time last year. And boy has he found a home there. The 26-year-old now has a ridiculous 1.61 ERA and 39 K/BB ratio over 22 1/3 innings this season. He’s averaging an eye-popping 15.88 K/9. Quite a weapon for New York’s bullpen.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that the Mets may move Asdrubal Cabrera to second base when he returns from the disabled list. Cabrera has been on the disabled list since June 13 with a sprained left thumb, but he’s expected to be activated on Friday.
Cabrera, 31, last played second base in 2014 with the Nationals. He has played shortstop exclusively as a Met the last two seasons. Jose Reyes would continue to play shortstop if the Mets were to go through with the position change. Cabrera would displace T.J. Rivera, who has been playing second base in place of the injured Neil Walker.
In 196 plate appearances this season, Cabrera is hitting .244/.321/.392 with six home runs and 20 RBI. He has made 11 defensive errors, which is tied for the third-most among shortstops behind Tim Anderson (16) and Dansby Swanson (12).
Brewers closer Corey Knebel set a modern major league record for relievers to start a season, as Thursday’s appearance marked his 38th consecutive appearance with a strikeout. He set down the side in order in the ninth inning, striking Josh Bell out to start the frame.
Aroldis Chapman held the record previously, recording a strikeout in his first 37 appearances of the season in 2014 with the Reds.
Knebel, 25, has flown under the radar despite having an incredibly good season. He moved into the closer’s role in mid-May when Neftali Feliz, now a free agent, struggled. After Thursday’s appearance, Knebel is 12-for-15 in save chances with a 0.96 ERA and a 65/17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.