A Simple Kind of Fan. Yuni Watch – 7.13.11
Yes, the feature that captured the hearts and minds of Brewers fans everywhere has expanded into a full feature blog. As you may recall, I started The Yuni Watch back in early March under the assumption that Yuni would be terrible. I suppose I expected him to struggle defensively, but what has surprised me the most is his iron willed stance against working the count. I began the preseason operating under the assumption that Dale Svuem would make an impact on Yuni’s game offensively and couldn’t have been more wrong. In that very first piece on Yuni, I discussed his reasoning behind his free swinging ways:
In addition, he hardly ever draws a walk. However, that is not his fault, because he says he’s Latin, and as we all know, Latin ballplayers don’t take walks. Wait? What? Yes he did say that. In fact, in that last link he says, “Latin people don’t walk too many times. We just go out there and swing.”
So there you have it. Yuni is excused from all further questioning of his approach while hitting because he’s Latin. Now that we have covered that angle, perhaps we should discuss his poor batting average, low slugging percentage, and inexistent range defensively.
In the past week our ‘Superstar’ has scuffled in poor fashion, even by Yuni standards. He was 3 x 20 with a double, a run, and 2 RBIs. It simply was not pleasant to observe. This type of performance would be unacceptable from any major league shortstop, let alone a player hitting in the heart of a potent Milwaukee order. For the season Yuni has managed to accumulate a horrid slash line of .237/.255/.342. It is too bad Josh Wilson is suddenly good enough to play left field, but not good enough to supplant Yuni at shortstop a couple of days a week. Clearly Yuni had a rough week, but how bad was it? Let’s peer closer at the ghastly evidence. WARNING! You may want to shield your eyes.
Over the course of the week, Yuni came to the plate six times with runners in scoring position and all he managed was an RBI single and a sacrifice fly. In truth, he had two chances with the bases loaded for a total of eight runners in scoring position. Yuni Betancourt drove in a possible 2 of 8 runners in scoring position for the week! Does this sound like a middle of the order hitter who protects Prince in the lineup? I didn’t think so.
I imagine now that Yuni has his own PrimeTime feature on the ole’ PocketDoppler he will soon be DFA’d. That would be great. Unfortunately, I think is here to stay for 4 million reasons. At the very least, he will continue to be the starter until the mustachioed Melvin finds someone willing to take his magical beans in exchange for a cow (just like K-Rod). Until that happens, I will continue to demand that Melvin contact Houston about the surplus of infielders they possess. The Astros are out of the race and going nowhere fast, yet they have Clint Barmes, Angel Sanchez, and Jeff Keppinger. One of those players HAS to be available.
However, it is not all gloom and doom. I have been preaching for some time that you don’t keep a player like Craig Counsell on the roster to win in May or June. You have him on your roster to make critical starts in the postseason, should your team get lucky enough to get there. I mention this because I have seen many people unnecessarily fret over a possible Yuni Betancourt in the playoffs. I honestly can’t see that scenario materializing if the Brewers qualify because Counsell would be getting most of those starts. I think this will eventually turn out much like Barry Zito for the Giants during their title run last season.
I understand that Counsell has struggled thus far in 2011, but I am not particularly worried in this portion of the season. Why? Because I trust when the weather turns crisp, he will start heating up with more critical September starts, due to not being overused. Couple this steadfast belief in Counsell with my prediction that SS help is on the way, and one should feel comforted that Yuni Betancourt will likely not be much of a factor for the Milwaukee Brewers later this season.
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