So, I might not have been clear about this in earlier threads and posts, but the signing of Betancourt was a complete ****ing travesty, and the idea that he would be an adequate second baseman was also, to be kind, misguided. Rany provides solid analysis of one of the key moments in yesterday's abortion that was the first inning:
Shin-Soo Choo singled to right, Brantley and Cabrera scored. This is the turning point of the inning – Choo dribbled a ground ball to the right side, and Yuniesky Betancourt inexplicably was unable to move ten feet to his left to field the ball before it scooted past his outstretched glove.
You know how Alcides Escobar makes a fantastic play from deep in the hole and you have to rewind the play several times to figure out how he did it? This was the exact same thing, only the exact opposite – I had to watch the play over again just to figure how on God’s green earth Yuni didn’t get to this ground ball.
And on this one play, in the first inning of the first game at Kauffman Stadium this year, the concept that Betancourt might be a less atrocious defender at second base than he was at shortstop shattered. It was already fragile, mind you, but all spring long we heard the Royals make the claim that oh-my-God Betancourt is just such a good defender at second base, and we have to get him in the lineup, and you just wouldn’t believe the range he has at his new position.
And then he waves at a groundball that Frank White would have personally escorted to second base. I mean Frank White today. Rex Hudler could have come down from the announcer’s booth in his suit and tie and made that play.
Instead, it went for a two-run single, and the rest of the inning went downhill. If Yuni gets one out on that play, the inning ends with just two runs scoring. There’s no way to know what would have happened in subsequent innings; maybe Hochevar just keeps giving up line drives the next inning. But the arc of the game would have been completely different.