Watching the New York Yankees at Philadelphia Phillies spring training contest Sunday afternoon, I had the pleasure of seeing Yanks starter Ivan Nova blank the home club over two perfect innings while touching the mid-90’s. That was nothing compared to what followed an inning later.
Taking over in the fourth was prized prospect Dellin Betances, one of the pinstripers’ budding Killer B’s, along with Andrew Brackman and Manuel Banuelos. The 22-year-old Betances dialed his fastball up to 97 MPH while showing a nifty knuckle-curve and that was all he needed to do.
Oh yeah, the 6-foot-8 Brooklyn native struck out the side.
Having just 14 1/3 career innings at Double-A, Betances making the Yankees out of spring training seems highly unlikely. The YES Network broadcasters covering the game could however envision an early-season call-up scenario such as the Yanks did with Chien-Ming Wang in late April 2005.
Obviously, this was just the spring opener for Betances and even if he beats the odds and makes the team, he is not a candidate for 200 innings in 2011. Still, I saw a very impressive young talent on Sunday afternoon.