Called on to pitch the eighth inning, Yankees reliever Dellin Betances walked four Blue Jays and recorded only one out before departing. He’s now up to 26 walks on the season in 27 1/3 innings and 123 batters faced. That’s an 8.56 BB/9 and a 21.1 percent walk rate.
Since 2000, there has been only one qualified reliever to post a walk rate of 20 percent or higher: Stephen Randolph had a 21.4 percent walk rate for the Diamondbacks in 2004. Aroldis Chapman came close with a 19.8 percent rate in 2011 with the Reds.
While Betances has never been a maven of control, he had a respectable 32/9 K/BB ratio in 17 1/3 innings and 68 batters faced through the end of May. That’s a 4.67 BB/9 and 13.2 percent walk rate. Since the start of June, his K/BB ratio is 18/17 in 10 innings and 55 batters faced; 15.3 BB/9 and 30.9%.
It’s not clear if Betances’ control issue is physical or mental. Either way, one wonders if a stint on the disabled list might be in his future. Betances was recently named to the American League All-Star roster.
The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.
Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”
Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.
Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.