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The New York Yankees Eagerly Await the Return of “The Killer B’s”

February 17th, 2014 at 12:26 AM
By Mike Warsaw

It was just a few years ago when the hopes of the New York Yankees farm system were tied to three "future pitching stars". Andrew Brackman, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances were supposed to bring the Yankees minor league system back to prominence. The three Yankee saviors were deemed "The Killer B's". 

Dellin Betances

Photo credit: paul.hadsall / Foter / CC BY-NC

It all looked good on paper. Unfortunately, it didn't play out so well in real life. Brackman became a free agent in 2012, when the Yankees declined to pick up his option. He signed with the Chicago White Sox in 2013 and is currently in their minor league system. Manny Banuelos had all the makings of a great Yankee pitcher until another Yankee pitcher came calling, Tommy John. Banuelos suffered an elbow tear and is still making his way back to full health. The 22 year old, with the big fastball claimed on Saturday in Tampa that "this is my year". Then there is the third B, Dellin Betances. The big righty may have the best chance to become a solid contributor for the Yankees this season.

After beginning last year in Triple A as a starter, Betances found his groove after a mid-season change to the bullpen. "I'm still here," Betances said. Once tabbed as a future starter, Betances may have found his home in the bullpen. He  threw for 93 K in only 62 innings pitched. He also held opposing batters to an impressive .183 batting average. After an August promotion to the big leagues and a September call up, Betances collected a total of 10 K in five innings pitched. "I feel good about my self after last year and I'll be ready to compete for one of those spots, Betances said. The  6'8" righthander seemed much more comfortable pitching shorter outings and throwing more frequently. Betances, a New York native from Washington Heights, spent this winter training in warm weather in the Dominican Republic. Betances seems to be making all the right moves lately. "Nothing is going to be handed to me. I have to perform up there and put in the work to keep myself there," said Betances.

Betances has a great opportunity this season as the Yankee bullpen has several spots open. So the future looks bright for the developing reliever. The same could be said for his teammate, Manny Banuelos. After being shutdown after 2012 Tommy John Surgery, the former prospect could be primed for a strong season in pinstripes. Banuelos regained his fastball late last season and was clocked at 94 mph in simulated games. "I'll have a chance now and I want to work hard to get to the big leagues," Banuelos said. There's a good chance Banuelos may not begin the season with the big club. If he doesn't make the team out of camp he would be one of the first pitchers considered for an early season call up. "I feel normal now, after two long years, now I feel ready," Banuelos said. The young hurler could find himself in the Yankees rotation in the near future. Another way for him to go could be pitching in the revamped Yankees bullpen alongside Betances.

There is definitely a lot of buzz surrounding the two remaining B's. Once the most promising prospects to come along for the Yankees in recent memory, the Killer B's are making there way back. But  the "B" might now stand for bullpen.

Photo credit: paul.hadsall / Foter / CC BY-NC

 

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Tags: Baseball, MLB, New York, New York Yankees

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