PORT ST. LUCIE – Given the shoulder strain and torn Achilles that limited him to two big league fighters last season, it may make sense to wonder if Dellin Betances will be ready for the start of 2020.
But Mets' new bullpen extension doesn't ask the same question.
"I'm ready for the opening day," said the experienced helper on Tuesday after training in Clover Park.
Betances, who had received a $ 10.5 million one-year contract from the Mets, said that he had run a standard out-of-season program, but with more attention to his left ankle, which he signed on in September Achilles' tears came as he celebrated a second straight strikeout to start his season with the Yankees. Betances had spent the past five months recovering from a shoulder injury.
The Mets want to get the 2018 version of Betances, which was still considered one of the leading setup men at MLB. This season he appeared in 66 games for the Yankees and pitched 2.70 ERA and 1,050 WHIP.
Now he will try to revive his career in a new league.
"I heard a lot of people say," National League, you just have to be aware of the ups and downs, "Betances said." I think sometimes the line-up changes, you have to be more aware of it and the game a little more from the start Pay attention. I'll try to ask as many questions as possible to the guys who have been here for a while, so try to learn from them. "
With Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia as the biggest disappointments, this is a bullpen that has grossly underperformed. Both helpers traveled to the spring training and gave reasons for their improvement that they are committed to nutrition and fitness out of season. In Familia's case, that meant losing 30 pounds.
Seth Lugo, Justin Wilson and Brad Brach are other key components of this bullpen.
"The stuff is there, definitely electrical stuff in the bullpen, both on the right and left," said Betances. “I'm definitely looking forward to joining this group. I think we could be something special for the guys we have. We have a couple of people who saved over 50 games – I don't think many teams can say that. I am definitely happy to be part of it. Health is a big key for all of us and I can't wait. "
The 31-year-old Betances said in December that his relationship with then coach Carlos Beltran was a key factor in his decision to choose the Mets. Since then, Beltran has left the organization, according to the MLB report, in which he was named in the Astros illegal sign theft scheme.
But Luis Rojas, the successor to Beltran, is not completely foreign to Betances.
“I heard a lot of great things and had the opportunity to get to know him. I am from the Dominican Republic and I think it is an exciting time for the country to have Luis Rojas as manager for New York Mets and I think it is a big deal, ”said Betances.
"Obviously Beltran is a close friend of mine, so I felt bad for him at the time. … But for me I'm just excited for our new coach Luis Rojas and I think a lot of players are excited about him. "
After nearly a decade of spring training across the state of Tampa, Betances will see how the other Florida coast lives.
"I've spent many years with an organization, but the good thing is that I know a lot of people here and have the opportunity to meet them," said Betances. “The organization did an excellent job at their FanFest a few weeks ago. It was the first time for me, a great event for the fans in New York, and I knew a lot of the guys that I think helped me. It was a good first day. "