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Phillies notes: Yuniesky Betancourt fighting for bench spot

Yuniesky Betancourt is among three players fighting for two utility roles with the Phillies.


The Philadelphia Phillies will need two utility infielders for their Opening Day roster, and they presently have three candidates to fill the openings; Yuniesky Betancourt, Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis. All three could end up breaking camp with the Phillies, and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told reporters, including Todd Zolecki of, that there is an ongoing "battle" among the trio for the two spots.

Amaro said that defense is "what drives" the Phillies. The club sacrificed defense for offense last season, and the GM admitted it "didn't work out too good." While Betancourt isn't necessarily known for his defensive prowess, Amaro said he's solid with the glove when focused. The veteran can get into trouble when his concentration wanes.

Galvis would appear to be the favorite if it comes down to defense, but Betancourt and Frandsen both bring versatility and offer more experience. They also have a superior track record offensively than Galvis.

After receiving interest from the Chicago Cubs this offseason, Betancourt ultimately signed on with the Phillies. He said the opportunity to play with infielders such as Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Michael Young and Ryan Howard made his decision easier.

As we outlined over the winter, you may not know as much as you think you do about Yuni. The Phillies are trying to figure out what they can before March 24. That's the date Betancourt can opt out of his minor league deal if he's not expected to break camp with the club.