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Royals place Yuniesky Betancourt on DL, but don’t call up Johnny Giavotella

May 3, 2012, 1:18 PM EDT

Yuniesky Betancourt AP

It was odd enough that the Royals chose washed-up veteran Yuniesky Betancourt over promising prospect Johnny Giavotella for the starting second base job this spring, but now Betancourt has been placed on the disabled list with an ankle injury and Giavotella didn’t even get the call to take his spot.

And it’s not because Giavotella has been struggling at Triple-A, as he’s hitting .301 with an .820 OPS in 25 games after hitting .338 with an .871 OPS in 110 games there last season. He’s also 24 years old, so it’s not as if the Royals want to avoid rushing him to the majors.

Instead they called up Irving Falu, a 28-year-old non-prospect in his fourth season at Triple-A who’s hit just .282 with a .697 OPS in 376 career games at the level. And apparently Chris Getz will take over as the primary second baseman despite being 28 years old with a .631 career OPS.

What good is the Royals’ impressive collection of prospects and young players if they’d rather give jobs to guys like Betancourt, Getz, and Falu?

  1. nategearhart - May 3, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Totally looks like that ball is gonna hit him in the face in that picture.

  2. racksie - May 3, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Is it a service time issue? Trying to keep him from free agency? Otherwise I don’t get it either. Or they just don’t like him.

  3. kcfanatic - May 3, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    I love ‘em, but the Royals stink! I am so tired of our owner and GM’s being cheap

  4. paul1990 - May 3, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Man, I can’t stand idiots who comment on things they know nothing about. That applies to the idiot writer and kcfanatic. First, Gia was sent down to work on his defense….not for his bat. He’s not playing well defensively down in Omaha. Second, Yunni is not washed up. He was brought in to effectively play 2nd, short, and 3rd base. Gia can’t do that and Falu can. Lastly, this GM and owner are not cheap. They have worked hard to build up this organization to have the best minor league system in baseball. That’s an investment into the organization and a big one. They spent money on Moose, Hosmer, Butler, Starling, and Gordon. Idiots, don’t comment unless you know what you’re talking about.

    • phillyphreak - May 3, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      Commenter 1: “Man, I can’t stand idiots who comment on things they know nothing about.”

      Commenter 2: “Second, Yunni is not washed up. He was brought in to effectively play 2nd, short, and 3rd base.”

      Wait? That was from the same person? Dang…..

    • sportsdrenched.com - May 3, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      Sorry Paul, I’ve defended the Royals plenty of times on here. However, the track record of this GM & Ownership is: If they make a decision, it is most likely WRONG!

      It’s not like Yuni & Getz play spectacular defense either. Bring the kid up, it’s not like the Royals are going to get worse.

    • jjschiller - May 3, 2012 at 3:59 PM

      Normally I don’t comment on things I don’t care about. But I’ve got a couple of things:

      1.) You’re right, Yuniesky Betancourt is not washed up. He has always been bad at baseball. He’s played nearly 1000 games in the major leagues, and has a career OPS+ of 83. He’s bad. You seem to think his defense is “versatile.” He now plays several positions because he isn’t good enough at any of them to be a regular there. He’s a career negative in defensive WAR. He’s bad at baseball.

      2.) Spending money on the draft is nice. Some teams won’t even do that. But spending money on the draft doesn’t make you “not cheap.” It’s definitely an improvement over where the organization has been in years past, but, they have a long history of signing bad veterans to cheap deals, holding good players back to push off their arbitration horizons, and then trading them when they get close to earning what they are worth. Using your draft position effectively, and being willing to pay the price for the right pick doesn’t erase that.

      3.) Aaron is not an expert on all teams and all teams prospects. To expect him to be is foolish. Don’t call him an idiot.

      4.) Learn to use paragraphs.

      5.) Be nice, you jerk.

      • paul1990 - May 4, 2012 at 10:18 AM

        I stand by everything I said. I’m glad you can count 1-5…that’s special. This is a blog, not a term paper. Paragraphs and footnotes aren’t needed, so get off your soapbox on that. Spending on your minor league system at the beginning is what you do. Don’t blow is all now when we’re not in position to win. You start spending when you’re right on the verge of turning a corner. Stats also don’t tell the whole story. WAR, ERA, RBI, etc. are just numbers. They don’t tell you that someone has moved a runner over on a hit and run. Take those numbers with a grain of salt. If Yunni is that bad, he wouldn’t have played 1,000 games in MLB. Pretty obvious you need to think before type.

      • paul1990 - May 4, 2012 at 10:22 AM

        Lastly, your comment on Aaron…if he’s not an expert and he’s going to make idiotic, uniformed comments, he can expect some backlash. If you’re not an expert, you better be able to back up your comments.

      • jjschiller - May 5, 2012 at 6:10 PM

        “If Yunni is that bad, he wouldn’t have played 1,000 games in MLB.”

        What you have here is called a “tautological argument.” He’s played alot so he must deserve to play. We better play him.

        Also, you’re a Royals fan. In addition, you’re a Royals fan who is defending Yuniesky Betancourt. I think it’s you who needs to do some thinking. Not of the “before you type” variety, but more of the “about your life variety.”

    • trchief1603 - May 4, 2012 at 12:28 AM

      Why don’t they try investing in some frontline pitching. How long will it take for Hochevar to figure it out. Gives up seven runs opening day, then 5 in the first against the Tigers, it’s getting ridiculous

  5. kcjedi - May 3, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    We’ve been losing for yeeeeaaarrrssss under current ownership. your comment’s will be justified when they start winning.

  6. wlschneider09 - May 3, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Perhaps they simply think that it’s better for Giavotella to be playing everyday in AAA and Falu to be sitting on the bench in the majors. After all, Getz has a pretty good slash line at KC and is a better fielder.

  7. tedboosalis - May 5, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Well the glass is always half full. I am a lifelong Twins fan, but now living in Missouri, and be the fair weather guy and all (jaded by the Pohlad’s regime over the years), I would say the Royals are in a great spot talentwise.

    I like Giavotella as a hitter but if he has work to do on his defense, best place to do it is in AAA. He’ll be up in no time. With Betancourt in his way, well that’s all about his defense then.

    Who would you rather be part of, the Twins or Royals now. Twins are on the way down for a decade, the Royals are on their wayUP for a decade. I like KC’s pitching alot, and the lineup is very good, Moustakas and Hosmer in the middle of the order and corner infielders with limitless potential, the super fast Escobar, and Cain in CF when he gets back, with Dyson backing him up, Gordon is reasonable in LF where you don’t need the greatest talent to play, and Franceour in RF who is a great veteran presence. Add a young catcher coming back from injury and your future 2B in the minors working on defense, and Butler at DH? OMG, you have alot to work with. Look at this lineup card as projected:

    CF Cain
    LF Gordon
    1B Hosmer
    DH Butler
    3B Moustakas
    RF Franceour
    C Perez
    2B Giavotella
    SS Escobar

    Grass looks greener on the other side, until you find out that’s in Minnesota. Trust me guys, the Royals are on the way up, and many people in baseball and in this division know it. The door is closed on the Twins, closing on the White Sox (in transition now to bridge over to upside) and Detroit (veteran team with some upside young players).

    I’ll be working in St. Louis for a couple of months but you know what, I like the Royals ALOT. Rooting for the Cardinals is easy, rooting for the Royals. now that’s a challenge, and I’m up for it.

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