Injuries took the better part of his stuff and control since 2019, and while he signed with the Mets on Christmas Eve that year, health hasn’t been on his side.
On Wednesday, Mets manager Luis Rojas announced that Betances will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery.
Luis Rojas says Dellin Betances will undergo shoulder surgery and will not pitch in the 2021 season. pic.twitter.com/CClakdJwCs
— SNY (@SNYtv) June 30, 2021
It marks the third season in a row he hardly pitches because of injuries.
Let’s not forget that he had five amazing seasons in a row back when he was with the New York Yankees.
Full list of relievers to strike out 100+ batters in five consecutive seasons in MLB history:
Dellin Betances (2014-18)
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) December 24, 2019
Let’s review his best two years in the big leagues.
2. 2016: 2.9 WAR, 1.78 FIP
In 2016, Betances didn’t have his best ERA, at 3.08, but time has shown us that ERA is not always the best tool to measure a pitcher’s talent and run-prevention skills.
Sometimes, infield (or overall) defense lets pitchers down, for example.
That year, Betances had a 1.78 Fielding Independent Pitching, or FIP, which is absurdly low (good).
An abnormal .353 BABIP (batting average in balls in play) affected him somewhat that year, but he struck out 15.53 batters per nine innings, his highest mark in a full season.
In fact, Betances was used as a temporary closer that year, and achieved a career-high 12 saves.
2016 was also the year in which the power right-hander had the second-highest WAR (Wins Above Replacement) total of his career, with 2.9.
Lots of starters would sign for a 2.9 WAR, so a reliever getting to that number is extremely impressive.
That’s the best way to describe Betances’ 2016: extremely impressive.
1. 2014: 3.0 WAR, 1.40 ERA
He is now 33 years old, but back in 2014, Betances was a hot 26-year-old flamethrower who was about to enter his first full season with the Yankees as a reliever.
It was, by far, his best statistical season.
That year, Betances had his highest WAR (3.0) and innings total, with 90.
He struck out 39.6 percent of the batters he faced and took the league by storm, turning into one of MLB’s premier relievers, capable of touching triple digits and often freezing foes with his curveball.
The 1.40 ERA he had, as well as the 1.64 FIP, were the best marks of his MLB tenure, with some difference, and that’s saying a lot.
He often had trouble throwing strikes consistently in the big leagues, but that year, Betances was in full control: he had his lowest BB/9 (walks per nine frames) of his career, with 2.40.
He did a very good job limiting home runs that season, too, as hitters were only able to knock 0.40 balls out of the park per nine innings (the lowest mark of his career).
In 2014, Betances had a personal record of strikeouts in a season, with 135.
That’s more than some starters that pitched almost twice as many innings as him.
Since he turned 30, Betances hasn’t been able to stay on the field due to many injuries, most notably on his shoulder, but there is no denying he was a dominant beast for a five-year period from 2014 to 2018.