Wednesday, March 7, 2012

That is NOT a Good Idea

 "I think Yuni will start three or four times a week," Yost said. "and we'll be able to keep everybody strong in that infield. I don't think we're going to lose a beat. It's a perfect scenario."
 Perfect? Have I forgotten the meaning of the word? Here's the definition of perfect from

  1. conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type.
  2. excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement.
  3. exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose.
  4. entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings.
  5. accurate, exact, or correct in every detail.

Nope. That's exactly what I thought perfect meant. So what does three or four starts a week mean in terms of games for Yuni this season? I counted up the number of weeks that the royals play six or seven games and there are twenty-four weeks. The first couple of days, the All Star Break, and the last day weren't counted, but collectively they would make up another weeks worth of games so let's round it off at twenty-five weeks in the season.

If Betancourt starts three games per week, here's the potential impact on the starts for each of the affected players (I'm going to assume that those starts aren't evenly taken and that Escobar is spelled less often than Giavotella and Moustakas.):

Yuniesky Betancourt: 75 starts
Mike Moustakas: 132 starts
Johnny Giavotella: 132 starts
Alcides Escobar: 147 starts

Here's the breakdown for Betancourt getting 3.5 starts a week or 7 every two weeks:

Yuniesky Betancourt: 87 starts
Mike Moustakas: 127 starts
Johnny Giavotella: 127 starts
Alcides Escobar: 145 starts

Finally, here's the breakdown for 4 starts a week:

Yuniesky Betancourt: 100 starts
Mike Moustakas: 122 starts
Johnny Giavotella: 122 starts
Alcides Escobar: 142 starts

When Betancourt was signed this offseason one of the primary defenses was Ned Yost's use of the bench. He'll hardly ever play. He'll get less than 200 at bats. His impact will be minimal. Let me be blunt here. If Betancourt starts 75 games, his impact will not be minimal. Based off Ned Yost's comments Betancourt is going to be due 350-450 at bats for 2012.

The Brewers may have won the division playing Betancourt every day in 2011, but there is a reason the guy had to accept a bench role in 2012. Betancourt's signing was an annoyance, but most of our annoyance was tied up in the symbolism of the move. We believed that in actuality Betancourt would suffice for a back up infielder.

If Betancourt starts 3-4 times a week this no longer is true. That much playing time turns Betancourt from a potentially useful bench piece to a detriment on this team's chances to win the division. It's early in Spring and I want to believe that should Betancourt play like Betancourt he'll quickly see his playing time decrease, but the comments from Ned Yost are scary nonetheless.

Of course the possibility exists that Giavotella, Moustakas, or Escobar totally flounder in 2012, making Betancourt a more viable option, but if this were true contention most likely wouldn't be possible anyway. The Royals absolutely have to maximize their roster in 2012, if they are going to be the surprise of baseball. Starting Betancourt 90 games would absolutely kill the opportunity.


  1. I couldn't agree more. And as i mentioned last year one of the reasons my enthusiasm is tempered for this team is that the young guys will have to be extra good to overcome a front office and manager who are stuck in the 1970's in recognition of major league contributions from existing players. Innovative with the prospects and the signings of future stars but behind the curve in evaluation of major league experience. IMO.

  2. People tend to take a don't fret the little things mentality when it comes to the Kansas City Royals. What is forgotten is that teams like the Royals have an incredibly thin margin for error and every move needs to maximize the dollar.

    1. Yeah, it's hard to pay too much heed to not fretting the little things when the Royals do virtually none of them correctly.

  3. I was hoping we would hear from you Josh on the Yuni subject.