After throwing a simulated game that featured Tyler Wade, Giancarlo Stanton and Clint Frazier as hitters, Dellin Betances felt comfortable making this declaration for the first time during this lengthy rehab process:
“I could get guys out with what I threw today,” the righthander said late Tuesday afternoon.
And so Betances, out all season with a right shoulder impingement and lat strain, at last is on the cusp of a rehab assignment.
The reliever, a free agent at season’s end, is expected to pitch for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Friday in what will be Game 3 of the RailRiders’ playoff series against Durham.
“The best I’ve thrown so far,” Betances said after Tuesday’s live batting practice.
Aaron Boone, who watched closely along with pitching coach Larry Rothschild and the training staff, was just as enthusiastic.
“It was really exciting today to see him throw the ball the way he did,” Boone said. “I thought the command was good, the stuff looked good. I know he’s really encouraged by it.”
With not a lot of minor league games in which to rehab – Double-A Trenton is also in the playoffs this weekend – Boone indicated Betances’ program, as well as Luis Severino’s, might be finished off in the big leagues.
“We may not have a lot of options,” Boone said, asked how many rehab games Betances could use. “So probably not many if it (this weekend) goes well.”
As for Severino, who started a rehab assignment Sunday with Scranton, the righthander is slated to start Friday for Scranton. The pitcher, out all year with right rotator cuff inflammation and a lat strain, said his arm felt “sore” afterward but soreness typical of having just pitched in a game.
Severino said if everything goes well Friday, “I think I’m ready to pitch in games (in the majors).”
Edwin Encarnacion, out since Aug. 3 with a right wrist fracture, came off the IL Tuesday and was in the lineup as the DH.
“It feels strong,” Encarnacion said of the wrist. “Feels as strong as it did before (the injury).”