Royals general manager Dayton Moore, on the advanced defensive statistics that show recent acquisition Yuniesky Betancourt as a poor shortstop:
The defensive statistics, I still really don’t understand how some
of those statistics are evaluated, I really don’t. When you watch
baseball games every single day, it’s very apparent who can play
defensively and who can’t.
I’m not going to suggest that every front office needs to be incredibly
reliant on statistical analysis to be successful, but for a general
manager to reveal that “I still really don’t understand how some of
those statistics are evaluated” seems like it probably isn’t great news
for Royals fans. You know, as if there is such a thing as great news
for Royals fans.
As for Betancourt, the advanced stats universally show that his defense has become horrible and most Mariners fans
who’ve actually watched him play “every single day” for the past five
seasons agree that his glove has declined significantly. Moore
admittedly doesn’t understand the defensive stats and presumably hasn’t
seen Betancourt play every day, which is perhaps why he just acquired one of baseball’s worst players.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.