Yankees right-hander Dellin Betances will open the 2019 season on the injured list due to an impingement and inflammation in his right shoulder, general manager Brian Cashman announced to reporters Tuesday (Twitter links via the YES Network’s Jack Curry).
There’s no set timetable for when Betances might rejoin the big league bullpen. To this point in Spring Training, the right-hander’s fastball velocity has been sitting in the upper 80s and low 90s — a far cry from the 98 mph he’s averaged across the past two seasons. While all of that sounds ominous, the situation may not be as dire as Yankees fans fear; Betances will only require three to five days of rest before he attempts to resume throwing — a timeline that’s not indicative of a serious injury.
And, fortunately for the Yankees, if there’s one area in which they can withstand an injury, it’s the bullpen. Even with Betances sidelined early in the season, the Yankees will still have Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino, Chad Green and Jonathan Holder at the back of a deep and talented bullpen.
For Betances, the timing of the issue is highly unwelcome. The 30-year-old is entering his final season of club control and is set to become a free agent following the 2019 season. He’s earning $7.125MM this season and has been among the game’s most dominant bullpen weapons over the past half decade, compiling a 2.22 ERA with 14.6 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and just 0.6 HR/9 over 373 1/3 regular-season innings.