Betances takes control in Scorpions' victory
Yankees prospect strikes out four over two perfect innings, records win
Dellin Betances has one big mission during his Arizona Fall League stint -- improve his control.
On Friday night, the Yankees' No. 17 prospect showed he can do just that.
Betances pitched two perfect innings against the Salt River Rafters, striking out four and earning the win as the Scottsdale Scorpions posted a 4-0 blanking.
"It definitely felt good, like this was one of my best outings in a while with all my pitches working," said the 24-year-old New York City native. "Just felt good, throwing strikes, which is the key."
Betances also said he he's begun throwing a slider, a pitch he hopes will help with his development as he looks to rebound from a regular season in which he was demoted to Double-A and ended up posting a 6.44 ERA across two levels. He also issued 99 walks in 131 1/3 innings.
While command proved elusive, he continued to flash his electric raw stuff, registering 124 strikeouts.
"The slider, I just started throwing in [the instructional league]," he noted. "I'm definitely excited to come here and try to go out there and refine my stuff, try to pitch well. It's good to come out here and get ready for the offseason, to go into Spring Training."
A 2006 eighth-round pick out of Grand Street Campus High School in Brooklyn, Betances posted a 2.11 ERA over 85 1/3 innings in 2010 between Class A Advanced Tampa and Double-A Trenton. A year later, he logged a 3.70 mark with Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, earning a brief Major League callup.
Betances said he hoped the work he's putting in during his time in the Fall League will help him recapture that form.
"I'm just working hard and trying to have some fun and pitch like my old self," he continued. "When you come out here for the first time and you're working on some new things, it's always fun. It's stuff you can take to next year."
Betances (1-1) lowered his ERA to 4.91 in two AFL appearances. In his debut for Scottsdale on Tuesday, he surrendered two runs on a hit and two walks while striking out one in 1 2/3 innings.
Bobby Cassevah, who's spent parts of the last three seasons in the Majors with the Angels, started for the Scorpions and yielded a hit and two walks with a strikeout over three scoreless innings before turning things over to Betances.
Shawn Armstrong (Indians), Mark Montgomery (Yankees) and Heath Hembree (Giants) combined to hold Salt River to two hits and two walks while posting eight strikeouts over the final four innings.
Yankees farmhand David Adams went 2-for-2 with two walks and a run scored for the Scorpions, while top Angels prospect Kaleb Cowart singled and drove in a run.
Blue Jays' No. 2 prospect Jake Marisnick doubled for the Rafters' lone extra-base hit.
Salt River starter Andre Rienzo, the White Sox's No. 18 prospect, fanned five over three shutout innings.
Jonathan Raymond is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.