TAMPA — Dellin Betances took a step back on Thursday, and that was a good thing.
The Yankees’ setup man threw a simulated two innings on a back field at George M. Steinbrenner Field to re-discover his mechanics without a radar gun over his shoulder. After watching him struggle on Sunday, the third time he threw in a week and the first time on just one day’s rest, pitching coach Larry Rothschild wanted him to work on his mechanics.
“I think Sunday he was reaching for (velocity), trying to find it and got out of whack,” Rothschild said. “He looked good today.”
Betances threw 28 pitches, 19 for strikes in six at-bats.
“In the first inning I didn’t really feel like I was letting it rip,” Betances said. “The second inning, I felt like I was letting it go.”
Betances’ velocity – or lack thereof – has been eye-raising this spring. He started out with a top fastball speed of 91 miles an hour with it sitting around 88. His curve ball was in the 77-79 range. Sunday, the velocity ticked up to the 93 mark, but his breaking ball looked sloppy and he managed to record just one out.
The 30-year-old is about a week behind the other pitchers in camp. He was delayed in arriving because he remained in New York with his wife for the birth of his first child.