Some this and that this Saturday...
Following up on the universal derision, Joe Posnanski thinks the Royals screwed up in trading for Yuniesky Betancourt. But he also has an good explanation as to why guys like Betancourt get so many opportunities to fail.
Eight years ago this July, the day the Royals traded Jermaine Dye for Neifi Perez, I came on Kevin Kietzman’s show and the first words out of my mouth were, "I have never been more embarrassed to be a Royals fan than I am right now."
I wouldn’t say I feel as embarrassed at this very moment as I did that day. But in every other way, this moment is perhaps the lowest point I have ever reached as a Royals fan. I have never been more disheartened than I am right now. I have never been more disillusioned as than I am right now. I have never been more angry than I am right now.
It's almost like the Royals are openly mocking me. I might have been the one analyst in the world who was curious to see what Jeff Francoeur would look like in a Royals uniform, but on the day that Francoeur was traded – to the Mets for Ryan Church in a my-garbage-for-your-trash deal – the Royals found a way to trade for one of the few starting players in baseball who is worse than Francoeur is. According to Fangraphs, only eight players with at least 200 plate appearances have a lower Wins Above Replacement rating than Francoeur's -0.6 (yes, negative). One of those, naturally, is Yuniesky Betancourt.Betancourt, in fact, ranks fourth-worst, ahead of only Brian Giles (whose career is, if not dead, then cryogenically frozen), the overmatched Emmanuel Burriss…and – I have to laugh – Jose Guillen.
And there's much more in that vein from Rany...
With Ronny Cedeno(notes) playing well and Betancourt not delivering offensively or defensively – the 27-year-old Cuban has a brutal .278 on-base percentage and a declining range factor – Zduriencik stocked up on a couple of young pitchers by moving Betancourt to a team in desperate need of a shortstop.
Ronny Cedeno has a .152/.209/.283 line in 138 ABs this season, and although he has been above average defensively, if a 492 OPS is "playing well," I'd hate to see what is playing poorly.
The Mets have not only added Jeff Franceour, they also claimed Angel Berroa off of waivers.
Jayson Stark does the first half awards thing. Most glaring omission from the Ranger standpoint? He makes Andrew Bailey the A.L. first half ROY, mentions 12 other A.L. rookies in the mix, but not a word about Elvis Andrus.
There's an interesting story out there linking pre-season shoulder strength in pitchers to in-season shoulder injuries. It sounds like doing strength tests on pitchers' shoulders in spring training may be able to help manage workloads in order to head off injuries during the season.