Spring Training invitations continue to pile up for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Philadelphia reached an agreement on a minor-league contract with infielder Yuniesky Betancourt. The contract also includes a Spring Training invitation and the possibility to be placed in Triple-A if he does not make the MLB roster.
Betancourt was signed in 2005 by the Seattle Mariners, where he spent the first five years of his professional career. As a Mariner, Betancourt hit a combined .279 with 27 home runs and 202 runs batted in while playing 588 games.
He was acquired by the Kansas City Royals in 2009 and played two seasons as a shortstop, where he had a fielding percentage of .972. Betancourt has never been a good fielder throughout his career, in fact he has been a downgrade whenever he is in a lineup instead of an upgrade. In eight seasons in the major league, Betancourt has a .970 fielding percentage and a WAR (wins-above-replacement) of -2.6.
Betancourt did return to Kansas City after a brief stint with the Milwaukee Brewers, where he made a playoff appearance and played well in 2011. In two playoff series, Betancourt hit .310 in 11 games with 13 hits in 43 plate appearances, five which went for extra bases, and six runs batted in.
Betancourt has been ridiculed for his lackluster defensive play throughout his entire career. If he is going to win a spot on the Phillies Opening Day Roster, it will likely be as a bench player. Look for Betancourt to start the season in the minor leagues unless there is an injury.