Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Betances confident results will change soon

Reliever allowing more hard-hit contact, among 'unluckiest' pitchers
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- Dellin Betances continues to have faith in his ability while attempting to make sense of the 5.63 ERA affixed to his name, believing that it does not sync with the electricity pulsing through his right arm.

"I think this is the best I've felt since I came up, to be honest with you," Betances said. "Things aren't going my way, but we're in May. We're playing good baseball. I've got to continue to grind and keep doing what I'm doing and the results are going to turn soon.

View Full Game Coverage

NEW YORK -- Dellin Betances continues to have faith in his ability while attempting to make sense of the 5.63 ERA affixed to his name, believing that it does not sync with the electricity pulsing through his right arm.

"I think this is the best I've felt since I came up, to be honest with you," Betances said. "Things aren't going my way, but we're in May. We're playing good baseball. I've got to continue to grind and keep doing what I'm doing and the results are going to turn soon.

View Full Game Coverage

"I've just got to go out there and keep pounding the strike zone. With my stuff, I think things will start changing. It's just a matter of time."

Betances served up the game-winning homer in Thursday's 5-4 loss to the Red Sox, a J.D. Martinez fly ball down the right-field line that sailed past Aaron Judge's outstretched glove.

Video: BOS@NYY: Martinez cracks go-ahead home run in the 8th

Though Betances and manager Aaron Boone both commented that the drive probably wouldn't have been a homer in any other big league park, Betances has been scored upon in each of his three multiple-inning outings this season. Boone said he is not ready to shy away from using the four-time All-Star for more than three outs.

"Things are going to turn," said Betances, 30. "If you've watched me pitch for the last four or five years and you see the stuff, it's the same as it was when I first came up. Last year I was out of whack, delivery-wise. I had no idea where I was throwing the ball.

"This year, I'm attacking the strike zone with both pitches. I feel great. Results just haven't been there. It'll change. We're in May now, and we've got a lot of baseball to play. I know if I keep throwing the ball the way I'm throwing it, things will fall into place."

Some Statcast™ numbers back Betances' assertion that the results don't quite match his stuff. His expected slugging percentage allowed is .398, 86 points lower than the .484 mark hitters have managed -- making him the 16th "unluckiest" of the 352 pitchers who have faced at least 50 batters.

The counterpoint is that Betances is allowing more hard contact, with a hard-hit rate of 44.1 percent -- well above his marks for 2015 (29.7), '16 (30.6) and '17 (24.5). Overpowering at times with 30 strikeouts against five walks in 16 innings, he has surrendered 18 hits and four homers.

"I know the results have been up and down a little bit for him, but there's no doubt in my mind that he's so close to being the dominant pitcher we've seen throughout his career," Boone said. "I think he understands that. That's why you see him in front of his locker talking like that. He knows that his delivery is in a good place. The stuff is there. The results will follow."

Slump busting
After being named the American League's Player of the Month for April, Didi Gregorius entered Friday hitless in his past 24 at-bats. Boone said his shortstop has been working with hitting coach Marcus Thames to correct a timing issue.

"It's the ebb and flow of the season," Boone said. "Hopefully shortly he'll get it rolling again. Hitting's hard. The best hitters in the league are going to go through tough little weak spells here and there. That's just part of the Major League season. There's nothing I'm seeing that's a red flag with Didi, and I think physically he's good."

Boone was also asked about Miguel Andujar, whose bat has cooled after a torrid string of extra-base hits. The rookie third baseman entered Friday with eight hits in his past 41 at-bats (.195), none for extra bases.

"I think there's no question that they've adjusted and are pitching him a little tougher," Boone said. "I think there is some of the ebb and flow of the season and hitting. Those things are going to happen. When he's in sync with how he loads with his bat, when that's on point he's electric offensively. Sometimes that gets a little out of whack.

"I'm still seeing a lot of really competitive at-bats. I'm seeing him with the ability to lay off pitches out of the zone that they're trying to get him to chase as a young player, making that adjustment to him. He's having competitive at-bats. That gives me hope that when it does click back in, there will be another stretch where he really starts to drive it."

Injury report
• Though Brandon Drury (severe migraines) is continuing to play in Minor League rehab games, he is still experiencing symptoms and may not be activated when his 20-day rehab clock expires next week.

"We feel like he's a lot better," Boone said. "We feel like the treatment he's getting has been helping. I think he would say he's not all the way there yet. That's something we're going to have to weigh; that's something we'll have to talk to him about."

Tommy Kahnle (right shoulder tendinitis) could rejoin the Yankees by the end of their May 15-23 road trip. Adam Warren (right back strain) could follow on the homestand that opens May 25.

Greg Bird (right ankle surgery) and Billy McKinney (left shoulder sprain) are continuing to rehab with Class A Advanced Tampa and could be promoted to Double-A Trenton next week, Boone said.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

New York Yankees, Dellin Betances