There is still one game left for the Mariners in Texas tonight. And this post falls dangerously close to kicking a man when he’s down and I really don’t want to do that here. But with all the talk of the recently-completed trade deadline and the moves just made by the Mariners, we can’t let it go by without taking one more look at an early-July deal that has fans in KC shaking their heads with more and more vigor.
Yuniesky Betancourt is doing for the Royals exactly what he had in Seattle. Only this time, he’s gotten even worse. As of this morning, he’s 6-for-52 in a Royals uniform for a batting average of .115. His on-base percentage for the Royals, heading into yesterday’s games, was .120. His slugging is .163.
Photo Credit: AP
That’s an OPS of .283.
His defense? On the Ultimate Zone Rating front, he’s at minus-10.6 so far and on-pace for minus-18.9 over a 150-game season.
In other words, whoo-boy. For comparative purposes, he was hitting .250 when he left Seattle, with an OBP of .278, a slugging percentage of .330 and a .608 OPS.
Needless to say, the locals in KC are not impressed.
The players Seattle received in return? Well, frankly, they could basically just get out of bed in the morning and the Mariners would win this deal because of the salary they dumped. Not to mention the offensive and defensive upgrade in Jack Wilson, who could be kept around beyond this year with much of that saved Betancourt money.
So far, in Class AA, Dan Cortes is 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA in three starts. Not very impressive as a record, but one bright spot to note are his 17 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings. He’s getting hitters to swing and miss at the AA level. We’ll see how his other numbers progress from here.
At Class A Clinton, Derrick Saito is 0-0 with a 3.68 ERA in four appearances. He has eight strikeouts and two walks in 7 1/3 innings of work. Again, nice strikeout numbers.
But as I said, these two could be delivering pizza to the players as a job and the Mariners would still have won this trade. As long as Cortes and Saito keep breathing, the deal looks better and better all the time.
Nobody wants to see Betancourt fail. He’s a decent human being and things are going to get hot for him in Kansas City — much hotter than the mid-90s temperatures — if he does not get his game turned around. If this isn’t a career wakeup call for him, he isn’t going to have a career much longer.
Wish him well. He needs your support.