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.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.