Stars align for Betances with Yanks

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Coach Melvin Martinez certainly isn’t surprised by former player Dellin Betances’s success with the New York Yankees.

The former Grand Street Campus star and current Yankees reliever was selected for his second All-Star game last week. Martinez and has family were jumping for joy hearing Betances’s name called as part of the American League squad for the contest in Cincinnati on July 14.

He helped surprise Betances with a party in February after a successful first full year in the Major Leagues. Planning for a second may need to start getting underway.

“The way it’s going, I think it is going to have to become a yearly event,” Martinez said.

The 27-year-old Betances allowed a walk and struck out a batter in an inning of work in the seventh in the American League’s 6–3 victory over the National League on July 14 at Great American Ballpark.

The 27-year-old Betances, a right-handed flamethrower, began the year as the Yankees’ set-up man and took over the closer’s role when Andrew Miller went down with a strained forearm on June 10.

Betances has been lights-out again this season. He has a 1.53 earned run average and 77 strikeouts. His strikeout rate is one of the best among relievers and he has converted seven of nine save opportunities.

“You can certainly make the argument that Dellin has been the best reliever in all of baseball over the last two years,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. “I certainly don’t take for granted having him at the back end of our bullpen.”

Martinez said Betances isn’t taking his all-star status for granted either.

“He always calls me to tell me, ‘Coach remind me how lucky I am,’ ” Martinez said.

Betances is currently the best baseball player out of New York City since George Washington’s Manny Ramirez. He took part in the All-Star game with Yankees teammates Mark Teixeira and Brett Gardner.

There is no reason why Betances can’t be the next permanent Yankees closer, succeeding the legendary Mariano Rivera in the job. It is the role Martinez said his former player is best suited for, and now has the experience and confidence take on. What better way to make Betances’s success story that much more of a storybook tale?

Martinez used Betances as an example to his young players of where hard work and a little talent can get you. The former Wolves pitcher spent more than eight seasons in the minor leagues before finally getting the call up to the big leagues. He hasn’t looked back since.

“We are very proud of him” Martinez said. “We, the coaches at Grand Street Campus, we knew how good Dellin was because he was one of ours. Now he is showing for everyone in the whole wide world to see that he is for real.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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