It’s not often than a veteran baseball player can hit .447 during Spring Training on a team that is in need of middle infield and bench help, and end up being released, but that’s exactly what happened to Yuniesky Betancourt.
The Philadelphia Phillies released the 31-year-old veteran shortstop on Sunday, opening the door for youngster Freddy Galvis to have himself a good shot a making the opening day roster.
While it might sound like a bit of surprise to release a veteran player who was having a great spring, it was absolutely the right move for the Phillies, who need an infusion of youth on this team to keep up with the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves in the NL East.
Betancourt, who has eight years of MLB experience, won’t have any trouble finding work, as there are a number of top teams–the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, and St. Louis Cardinals–who are in need of some veteran presence in the middle infield as they deal with some injury problems.
The Phillies were at a crossroads with Betancourt, as his minor league deal included an opt-out date that required Philadelphia to notify him by Sunday if he had made the 25-man roster.
Now Freddy Galvis, who hit .226 with three home runs and 24 RBI in 58 games during 2012, can be looked upon as a player to come off the bench and to fill in as a utility infielder, and at a much cheaper price than Betancourt would have commanded had the Phillies added him to the final roster.
Overall a good move for the Phillies.