Phillies release infielder Yuniesky Betancourt

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CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury reports that the Phillies have cut ties with Yuniesky Betancourt.

Betancourt was signed to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training on January 28 by the Philadelphia front office. He had a .447/.451/.574 slash line in 51 Grapefruit League plate appearances as of Sunday morning, but the Phillies have decided not to bring him north and the veteran wouldn’t have accepted an assignment to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Betancourt has reportedly drawn some interest from the Cardinals, who are planning to start Pete Kozma at shortstop. Whether it’s St. Louis or somewhere else, Yuni shouldn’t be out of work long.

The 31-year-old hit .228/.256/.400 with seven home runs in 57 games last season with the Royals.

Fan hit by foul ball during Sunday’s Rockies-Dodgers game

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Another fan was struck by a line drive foul ball during Sunday’s game between the Rockies and Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Mike DiGiovanna and Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times report. The ball was hit by Cody Bellinger in the first inning, going just beyond where the protective netting ends at the first-base dugout, striking a young woman in the head. Play was delayed for two minutes while the woman received medical attention. She initially stayed in her seat holding an ice pack to her head but was taken to a hospital for evaluation. According to someone in the Dodger Stadium first-aid office, the girl was alert and responding.

After the game, Bellinger said, “It was weird. It’s the first time I think I’ve hit a fan. I saw it literally hit her face. That was tough. I just tried to regroup. I’m sure it was tough for everyone.” He added, “I went over the next half-inning just to make sure she was all right. She said she was all right. She gave me a thumbs up. Obviously, it’s a scary situation.”

Both Bellinger and manager Dave Roberts expressed support for extending the protective netting at Dodger Stadium. [Update: Netting will be extended, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports.]

Bellinger was involved in yet another incident involving a fan later in the game. According to Michael Duarte of NBC Los Angeles, a 14-year-old girl ran on the field in the ninth inning. Bellinger said the girl came up to him and said, “I want a hug.” As she hugged Bellinger, a security guard tackled her. Bellinger said to her, “You know you’re going to jail?” She replied, “Yeah, I know. It was worth it.”