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Well This Is Embarrassing

Forgive me if I haven't spent any time talking about Chris Woodward. With rare and as-yet undiscovered exception, I don't really get excited about ~33 year old career backup middle infielders coming off a season and a third in AAA. I didn't bat an eye when the Mariners brought him in, and even when they called him up, I didn't much care, as he was just going to be a short-term substitute for the bereaving Jose Lopez. Woodward would be here, and then he wouldn't, and the Chris Woodward era in Seattle would come to a quiet and Jaime Bubelian end.

Bored and curious, though, I decided to play with a couple numbers. Most notably these:

Woodward ZiPS projected wOBA: .278
Woodward defense: -4.3 UZR/150

Yuni ZiPS projected wOBA: .294
Yuni defense: good heavens

The difference between a .278 wOBA and a .294 wOBA over a full season is about eight runs. So, a regular offense featuring Yuni would be about eight runs better than an otherwise equivalent offense featuring Woodward. Defensively, though, Woodward these days is probably around -5 --> -10, while the slipping Yuni already has a UZR of -8.6 on the season and probably has a true talent level around -15 or -20. Yuni has the third-worst UZR of any infielder in the Major Leagues this year, and that's no accident.

Imagine my...well, I won't call it surprise, but mild interest when I figured out that there's an argument to be made that Yuniesky Betancourt isn't significantly better than Chris Woodward.

Since coming back from his benching, Yuni has made some plays in the field that I'm not used to seeing him make. For his sake, he's probably going to want to try to sustain that level of effort.