New York Yankees: Andrew Miller has emerged as the closer


The New York Yankees headed into the 2015 season not knowing who their closer was going to be, but after a week of baseball it has become clear who the closer will be.

With Mariano Rivera retired and his replacement David Robertson signing a lucrative deal with the Chicago White Sox, the Yankees were in an uncomfortable position in 2015 in the backend of their bullpen.

Last season, rookie Dellin Betances had a fantastic season, as he made the All-Star team as the Yankees’ setup man. In 90 innings last season, Betances would go 5-0 with a 1.40 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 22 holds, and 135 strikeouts. Betances’ great season led to him finishing second in the AL Rookie of the Year award, behind only the White Sox’ Jose Abreu.

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Before the Yankees lost Robertson to the White Sox in free agency, they would add the best left-handed reliever on the market in Andrew Miller. For the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox last season, Miller had a career-year. In 2014, Miller would total a 2.02 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 22 holds, 103 strikeouts, and a 5-5 record.

Neither Betances nor Miller was named the closer by manager Joe Girardi out of Spring Training, but the way they have each been used so far indicates whose job it is. Betances had a rough Spring Training, and in his three appearances so far in the regular season, he hasn’t looked as sharp as last season.

Apr 2, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) throws a pitch during the seventh inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In three appearances this season, Betances has pitched 3.1 innings, allowing three hits, six walks, and one unearned run. The biggest concern for Betances is his control, as he only walked 24 batters all of last season, and has already allowed six in three games.

Miller has also appeared in three games for the Yankees, and he has pitched much better than Betances so far. In his three appearances, Miller has pitched 3.2 innings, allowing just two walks with no hits allowed. Miller has been great in his two opportunities to close, as he has two saves already.

The way Miller has been pitching, it’s just a matter of time before he is officially named the closer. The concerning thing is not that Miller has seemingly won the job, but the fact that Betances doesn’t look very good.

The Yankees are on a little roll right now, but they will definitely need Miller and Betances to both pitch well out of their bullpen.

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