Saturday, April 14, 2012

This Just Isn't Working

I'm a huge Johnny Giavotella fan. However, when the Royals elected to option him to Triple-A this spring I understood the rationale of their decision. Entering camp Giavotella was in a competition with Chris Getz to win the second base job. At the time of the promotion, Chris Getz had outperformed Giavotella.

One tweeter commented that maybe Giavotella should already have been given the job. I can't disagree with this and had he already been given the job, like Moustakas, it would have made me outraged should the Royals have sent him down. Instead two players were competing for a spot, and Chris Getz performed better. I could understand why the team elected to open the season with Chris Getz at second. Unfortunately, one week into the season Chris Getz isn't our second baseman either.

We all hated the Yuniesky Betancourt acquisition. Even the defendants of the signing made comments like "well he's just a utility guy," and "he's only going to get 250 at bats." Let me tell you now, when your primary defense of an acquisition is the fact the guy won't play much, you shouldn't be defending the acquisition.

Robert Ford, whose opinion I respect very much, repeatedly defended the Betancourt acquisition and commented how much better he was at second base and how there was no way he would open the season as the regular second baseman. Seven games into the season, and Yuniesky Betancourt has started more games at second than any other Royal.

Granted, Betancourt is off to a nice start with the bat. He's hitting .357, but has already emphatically shown that he is in fact no better at short stop than he was at second base. Let me just be blunt, I believed that Betancourt would be solid defensively at second base. I was wrong. 

If Betancourt continues to hit .350, I'll put up with his defensive shortcomings. But if Betancourt settles back into his career averages, he'll be hurting this team twofold. When Chris Getz becomes your better option at second, you don't belong on the field. However, at least Getz could help the pitching staff with his glove. (Of course, the ideal solution would be to admit the mistake and recall Johnny Giavotella from Omaha.)

I still think Betancourt could still be a decent piece in the role the Royals allegedly signed him for. As a utility infielder he could back up every spot on the infield and provide some pop. However, as a starter we know what Betancourt brings to the table, do we really want to put ourselves through that again?


  1. I agree wholeheartedly. What is disconcerting is that we have a manager who does not seem to recognize Betencourt's defensive shortfalls.

  2. I really wanted to give Betancourt the opportunity to show what he can do at second. I was hopeful that he really could be an above average fielder there, after all there are tons of guys that couldn't cut it at short and slid across the bag and became studs at second. However, I think it is safe to say Betancourt won't join that company.