Yankees reliever Dellin Betances suffered another setback while pitching in a simulated game on Thursday. According to comments from manager Aaron Boone, he’ll undergo another MRI as the club tries to determine if the right-hander sustained additional damage to his shoulder. A firm timeline has not been announced for his return to the team this season.
Betances, 31, said he “just didn’t feel right” during Thursday’s game, though it’s still unclear what specific pain he might be dealing with. He was diagnosed with a right shoulder impingement in mid-March and has yet to pitch in an official game this season.
Last year, the veteran reliever picked up four saves and a 4-6 record in 66 appearances for the club, with a solid 2.70 ERA, 15.5 SO/9, 3.5 BB/9, and 1.7 fWAR across 66 2/3 innings. He’s dealt with shoulder issues on and off throughout his seven-year career in the majors, but this appears to be the first serious setback he’s seen since 2012. Without him, the Yankees’ bullpen is still holding together; per FanGraphs, they currently rank third-best in the league with a collective 3.97 ERA and 1.0 fWAR across their first dozen games of 2019.
Update: Per Brian Cashman, Betances has a bone spur in his shoulder and will receive a cortisone shot on Saturday. He’s expected to refrain from all pitching activity for three weeks. MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports that the righty’s recovery timetable has been pushed to 6-7 weeks.