TODAY: After Betances visited another doctor for a second opinion, Yankees manager Aaron Boone told MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch and other reporters that surgery wasn’t recommended. Betances will wear a walking boot for the next four weeks.
TUESDAY: Yankees reliever Dellin Betances has suffered a partial tear of his left Achilles’ tendon, Jack Curry of the YES Network was among those to report. Betances incurred the injury Sunday in Toronto, per the New York Times’ James Wagner, who adds that surgery’s currently under consideration. The right-hander will go for a second opinion, according to Wagner.
This figures to conclude an injury-ruined season for Betances, a four-time All-Star setup man whose sole 2019 outing came Sunday, when he struck out both batters he faced. Betances missed the first five-plus months of the season as a result of shoulder and lat problems. The soon-to-be 32-year-old’s newest injury could bring to an end a fruitful Yankees tenure for Betances, who’s set to become a free agent after the season. Regardless, it’s safe to say the significant health issues that have haunted Betances this year will tamp down his earning power if he does reach the open market in a couple months.
No matter what the future holds for Betances, this is yet another monumental injury for a New York club that has dealt with one after another all season. While the Yankees have barely received any contributions from the likes of Betances, ace Luis Severino (who made his 2019 debut Tuesday) and outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, and have battled plenty of other injuries, they nonetheless own the majors’ best record at 99-53. The club’s on the cusp of its first division championship since 2012, and even though it’s shorthanded, it’s undoubtedly on a small list of the game’s World Series favorites with the postseason around the corner.
It stands to reason the Yankees would boast an even better record with a healthy version of Betances, who was in an elite class of relievers from 2014-18. The normally durable Betances made no fewer than 66 appearances in any of those five seasons, during which he combined for a league-high 373 1/3 innings of 2.22 ERA/2.26 FIP pitching with 14.63 K/9 against 3.91 BB/9. New York’s relief corps has done well to weather the storm without its premier pre-ninth inning arm this season, evidenced by its overall 4.11 ERA/4.18 FIP, though it’s clearly less formidable without the towering Betances looming.
Relievers Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino and Tommy Kahnle have helped fill Betances’ void in front of closer Aroldis Chapman this season. They’ll obviously have to continue their standout work into the fall if the Yankees are going to claim their first championship since 2009.