In a cruel twist of fate, Yankees reliever Dellin Betances suffered a partially torn left Achilles tendon when he jumped for joy after striking out the second batter he faced this season on Sunday in Toronto.
Manager Aaron Boone made the stunning announcement of Betances’ season-ending injury after the Yankees’ 8-0 victory over the Angels on Tuesday night.
Betances made his first appearance of the season on Sunday after being out since spring training with a shoulder injury. He struck out the two batters he faced and did a little hop on the mound after the second one.
The hop was so innocent looking that the Yankees in the dugout made fun of the 6-foot-8 Betances. The righthander didn’t know anything was wrong until he reported some soreness on Tuesday and the Yankees sent him for an MRI. The partial tear was revealed.
At the moment, surgery is not recommended, the Yankees said, but it also hasn’t been ruled out, and Betances will get a second opinion.
“When he jumped on the mound the other day, I think he came down a little awkwardly,” Boone said. “I don’t think [he] thought anything of it — didn’t even say anything at the time.”
Betances, 31, has been a wipeout reliever for the Yankees since 2014 and is a four-time All-Star. He is a free agent at the end of the season. The native New Yorker has said repeatedly he wants to stay with the Yankees.
“Obviously, heartbroken for Dellin,” Boone said. “To have him successfully debut for us the other day, and now this . . . my heart goes out to him.”
Betances was not available for comment.
Reliever Zack Britton, who suffered a ruptured Achilles tear in December 2017 when he was with the Orioles, said he counseled Betances as best he could.
“It was tough,” Britton said. “It made me nauseous when I was thinking about it.”