Not only was Dellin Betances was once one of the best relief pitchers in all of baseball during his time with the New York Yankees, but his consistently high velocity helped usher in the modern era, where relief pitchers frequently throw close to 100 miles per hour. Unfortunately for Betances, injuries and struggle with control eventually caught up to him. And on Wednesday, it was announced that Betances had retired at only 34.
Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported the news.
Dellin Betances, former All-Star reliever with the Yankees, has retired. Had been in Dodgers organization.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 17, 2022
The MLB world remembered Betances‘ short-yet-brilliant career following the news of his retirement.
What a peak, his breaking ball, which defied classification, was so much fun pic.twitter.com/H4kOnURkaz
— Pinstripe Alley (@pinstripealley) August 17, 2022
Betances was electric out of the bullpen for a while https://t.co/wlGc9jvm1k
— Joe (@JoeRiveraSN) August 17, 2022
betances was one of the first players I remember reading about before getting drafted. not as much info on amateur players back in '06, but reading about a 6'8'' high schooler from ny who threw 98 is not that easy to forget. I'm glad he had a very fruitful career in the majors. https://t.co/jkfVC1wsAg
— Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) August 17, 2022
If Dellin Betances wants to do it, Yankees would be smart to hire him in some kind of coaching capacity. Huge prospect. Struggled. Remade himself into 4-time All-Star reliever. Homegrown. NYC kid. One of the all-time good clubhouse guys.
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) August 17, 2022
Wow. One of the best relievers of all-time in terms of prime. Congrats to Dellin Betances on a great career! https://t.co/FyF33GB8QF
— Dan Rourke (@DanAlanRourke) August 17, 2022
Sad to see it come to an end. Dellin Betances is 1 of 5 relievers with multiple 130+ strikeouts seasons, with the others being Dick Radatz, Goose Gossage, Rob Dibble, and Josh Hader. https://t.co/XdzeMFUdzW
— Foolish Baseball (@FoolishBB) August 17, 2022
Betances came up with the Yankees for two appearances in 2011. He spent all of 2012 and most of 2013 in the minors. During the 2013 season, it was announced that Betances would be a reliever. He made the Opening Day roster in 2014 and flourished immediately. Betances made the American League All-Star team every season from 2014-2017.
From 2014-2018, Betances appeared in 349 games for the Yankees. He posted a 2.22 ERA and 1.018 WHIP in that time with 607 strikeouts for a K/9 rate of 14.6. And despite throwing hard and playing in the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium, he allowed only 25 home runs in that period for a HR/9 rate of 0.6, well better than the league average. And while Betances was used primarily in a set-up role, he did save 36 games in that window.
Injuries limited Betances to only one appearance in 2019. Following the 2019 season, he signed with the New York Mets. In 2020, Betances appeared in 15 games, posting a 7.71 ERA and 2.057 WHIP. He also had more walks than both strikeouts and innings pitched, issuing 12 free passes in 11.2 inings with only 11 strikeouts.
Betances appeared in only one game for the Mets in 2021. He signed a minor-league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2022 but never made it to the majors before retiring.
[Jon Heyman on Twitter]