Dellin Betances thrilled after making Yankees
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TAMPA, Fla. - Dellin Betances first informed his fiancée of the news, and his parents and siblings quickly after that. "Everybody's excited,'' he said.
No one more so than Betances, who, along with lefty Vidal Nuño, learned Friday that they had earned the final two bullpen spots for the Yankees to start the regular season.
"I grew up in this organization, I grew up watching them, and I got drafted by them,'' said Betances, 26, chosen in the eighth round of the 2006 draft out of Grand Street Campus in Brooklyn. "I've had a lot of ups and downs, but this is definitely the most memorable moment for me. Making the team out of camp is a big deal for anybody. I'm still in shock.''
The 6-8, 260-pound Betances, who posted a 0.93 ERA in spring training, was a failed starter before being shifted to the bullpen in 2013. It's a role in which he's thrived. "He earned it,'' one scout said. "He's more focused. He's not scared anymore.''
As of Friday night, the Yankees, in the market for infield help throughout spring training, had not made a final decision on their reserve infielders, perhaps an indication that the club thinks it is possible to complete a deal before breaking camp.
The need for depth has increased because of backup shortstop Brendan Ryan's back spasms, which will land him on the disabled list to start the season. General manager Brian Cashman said Friday that he is not optimistic that the DL stay will be a brief one.
Dean Anna made the team, so Eduardo Nuñez and Yangervis Solarte are vying for one spot. If Solarte gets it, the Yankees will have to make a corresponding move on their 40-man roster.
As excited as Betances and Nuño were, lefty Cesar Cabral and righty Matt Daley, a Garden City graduate, were equally disappointed. Both pitched extremely well but were frozen out in a numbers game.
"Once the sting wears off, I'll realize I'm in a good spot. I'm with the organization I want to be with,'' said Daley, 31, who allowed one run in 82/3 innings with nine strikeouts. "It's a long season and I know at some point, if I do what I'm supposed to do, that I will be helping this team win games.''
Daley added, "I'm really happy for Dellin. He's my guy. He earned it, too. No matter who they were going to send down today, someone's going to be disappointed because everyone pitched well this year.''
Notes & quotes: Masahiro Tanaka allowed three hits, walked none and struck out 10 in six innings as the Yankees beat the Marlins, 3-0. He had a 2.14 ERA in spring training. Hiroki Kuroda allowed three hits in three innings, striking out four and walking none . . . Jacoby Ellsbury, out since March 14 with calf tightness, went 2-for-5 in a minor-league game Friday and is scheduled to play in the exhibition finale Saturday afternoon against Miami . . . The Yankees signed Alfredo Aceves, 31, who pitched for them from 2008-10, to a minor-league deal.