Betances has already made a name for himself as a reliever for the Yankees. His 49 strikeouts in 28.1 innings pitched show a man that is simply untouchable right now.
But there hasn't been any increase in role, unless you want to talk about pitching multiple innings in a game. Betances is still coming in around the middle of contests rather than the back-end of them, but that doesn't diminish how important he's been.
That's because Betances has been a cleanup man for the Yanks and then some. Sure, he came in late against the White Sox on Saturday, but that was more a matter of circumstance than a new role.
He's been successful in working his way out of many jams he's come into this season spawned by poor starting pitching. More importantly, he's been a bridge to the rest of the bullpen and added a form of stability on the mound for New York.
While there are some fans that want to make him closer after David Robertson blew one save, Girardi wouldn't move Betances out of his current role to be a setup man, let alone the closer. The hype and attention isn't something Girardi will cave to and he understands that the youngster has been known to put too much pressure on himself to his own detriment, thus moving Betances wouldn't be prudent.
He doesn't need to anyway. Despite some injuries, Girardi and the Bronx Bombers have found consistency from their relievers overall. With Adam Warren pitching well and Shawn Kelley slated to return in a few weeks, the Yanks have enough in the back of the 'pen to continue bringing Betances along slowly.
In the meantime, Betances can keep cleaning up whatever mess is left by the Yanks' battered starting five and save games in the fifth and sixth inning. In reality, hat's where he's needed most as New York's rotation is struggling to get length in games and don't expect him to be anything more than a seventh-inning guy barring more injuries.
If he keeps it up, we all know Betances is destined to become this team's closer or at least the setup man in a combination of relievers that would be unmatched in baseball.
There's still a long way to go for the 26-year-old before he can be considered elite, but at least the Yankees have a manager in Girardi who will make sure Betances isn't rushed into failure.
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