TAMPA, Fla. — As dominating fastball speed goes, Yankees reliever Dellin Betances has hit 100 miles per hour, but he said Thursday that’s slow compared to the heat thrown by new Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman.
“You don’t get to see that speed — he’s very athletic. His arms are huge,” Betances said. “The difference is he throws  constantly. I throw it once in a blue. He throws it every time. That’s going to be exciting. I think the crowd at Yankee Stadium will wait instead of leaving early to beat traffic, to wait to see 102, 103, 104. I think he’s going to throw 105. That’s a lot harder than a lot of us throw.”
The back end of the Yankees’ bullpen, with Betances and Andrew Miller, was as dominating as any in baseball last year, and yet Chapman is good enough that he was announced as the closer by Joe Girardi after being acquired from the Reds in December. That likely sets up Betances in the seventh and Miller in the eighth.
Betances has been an All-Star the last two seasons, with ERAs of 1.40 and 1.50, and said all he’s been hearing from fans is how the bullpen could be even better this season.
“That’s what everybody talks about,” Betances said. “In the airport yesterday, everybody kept mentioning it everywhere I go, the bullpen. Let’s see who’s going to join us — there’s seven of us. We’re definitely excited. I can’t wait to go out there and try to electrify the crowd.”
Betances threw 174 innings in 2014-15, the most of any reliever in baseball, and with that in mind, he took more time off in this offseason. Instead of taking four weeks off without throwing, as he has in past winters, he said he took a full two months off, to help rest his arm and prepare for another busy season.
“I don’t know how hard I’ll be throwing in spring, but I’m sure you guys will let me know,” said Betances, who talked with other relievers to see how they handled their offseason rest. “This is the longest I’ve taken off without throwing. Just trying to give the arm a little break, try something different I guess. I feel good and ready to go.”
Betances said he and Chapman talked Thursday in the locker room, though Betances said it was more just “if you want Spanish food, where to go.” With the bullpen leading the way, there’s optimism about an improved Yankees team in 2016, and Betances said he is excited to see the team come together for another spring training.
“We have big goals this year,” Betances said. “Hopefully we win No. 28. That’s the ultimate goal.”