Dellin Betances has emerged as one of the most dominating relievers in the game this season, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi confirmed today that he has seen enough.
Armed with a mid-to-high 90s fastball and an unhittable curveball, Betances has posted a 1.40 ERA in 70 appearances this season to go along with an astounding 135 strikeouts over 90 innings. He struck out 39.6 percent of the batters he faced this season, good enough for fourth among pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched. Oh, and about that nasty curveball, Brooks Baseball notes that opposing batters hit just .075 with a .124 slugging percentage against the pitch this year. Just bonkers.
David Robertson is due to become a free agent this offseason, so Betances could take over the closer role for the Yankees in 2015.
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.