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.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports Thursday that the Orioles “are said to have begun fielding calls of interest” on superstar Manny Machado and “are close to the point of seriously weighing whether to trade him.”
You’d think it would be a no-brainer for the last-place O’s to flip Machado — an impending free agent — for prospects, but Heyman notes there is “still a question whether or not longtime Orioles owner Peter Angelos” will give the go-ahead. One person familiar with the situation put it a “50-50” likelihood. Another suggested that it would take a massive return, which, sure.
Machado entered play Thursday with a sensational .328/.405/.635 batting line, 15 home runs, and an MLB-leading 43 RBI in 49 games. It’d be a real shock if he’s still wearing an O’s uniform by the end of July.
Heyman reported previously that at least nine teams made aggressive plays for Machado this winter, including the Cubs, Phillies, Dodgers, Indians, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, and Cardinals. A whole lot of those teams still make sense here in late May — maybe all of them except the White Sox.