Manhattan-born and Brooklyn-bred Dellin Betances has been called up to the Bronx.
The once highly-touted right-handed starter who recently switched to relief was added to the Yankees’ bullpen before their game Thursday night against the Mariners, the team announced. Brett Marshall, who gave up five runs and threw 108 pitches in 5.2 innings during his MLB debut Wednesday night was sent down in a corresponding move.
Betances allowed one hit, six walks and two runs in 2.2 innings, striking out two, during a brief September call-up in 2011.
Betances, 25, was born in the Washington Heights area of Manhattan and graduated from Grand Street High School’s Grand Street Campus in Brooklyn. He was taken by the Yankees out of high school in the eighth round of the 2006 draft.
Very effective in the lower levels of the minors, the 6-8 pitcher used an overpowering fastball and hard curve to ascend to Triple A by 2011. He was ranked as high as the No. 43 prospect in the game by Baseball America prior to the 2011 season.
But he struggled with mechanics – never mind unsightly results – and was demoted to Double A in 2012. In the process, he lost his prospect buzz, getting bounced fro the larger MLB list and the Yankees’ top-ten. The pitcher who was sent down to make room for Betances, Marshall, was ranked the sixth-best prospect in the Yankees’ system by Baseball America before the season.
Betances began this season in Triple A as a starter, but was recently switched to the pen out of necessity; Betances is out of options after 2013, and if he doesn’t make the Yankees out of spring training, he would have to be placed on waivers in order to be sent to the minors.
With his starting career sputtering, the Yankees decision makers figured the easiest – and quickest – way to make him a productive member of the big league staff was to move him to the pen.
Betances was 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 28.1 innings this season at Triple A. He’s 33-34 with a 4.24 ERA and 644 strikeouts in 585.2 innings in eight minor league seasons.