Yankees News: Dellin Betances to Begin Season on IL with Shoulder Injury

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 19, 2019

New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances before delivering to the Toronto Blue Jays during a spring training baseball game Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

The New York Yankees will open the season without four-time All-Star reliever Dellin Betances because of right shoulder inflammation.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman announced Tuesday that Betances will start the year on the injured list after complaining about not being at full strength.

According to ESPN's Coley Harvey, the Yankees were "very alarmed" by Betances' fastball velocity in Sunday's spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies. The team believes he tried to rush himself back into game shape after not getting a normal offseason of work and arriving to camp late following the birth of his first child, per Harvey.

Betances' velocity was clocked between 87 and 91 mph against the Phillies. The right-hander has averaged at least 97 mph with his fastball every season since 2015, per FanGraphs.

The Yankees have one of the most formidable bullpens in Major League Baseball with Betances, Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino, Chad Green and closer Aroldis Chapman to shut down lineups late in games.

Betances has been one of MLB's best strikeout artists out of the bullpen since 2014. The 30-year-old ranks third among relievers with 14.6 strikeouts per nine innings over the previous five seasons, per FanGraphs.

Because of the depth New York has accrued in the bullpen, Betances' absence won't hurt the pitching staff as much as it could have.

It also helps that the Yankees have a dangerous lineup led by Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar to ease the burden on the pitching staff heading into the start of the season March 28.