Despite hot spring, Phils release Betancourt

Yuniesky Betancourt couldn't have done much more than he did in camp with the Phillies, this spring, but it still wasn't enough. Instead of hanging onto the veteran infielder, the Phillies elected to not keep Betancourt, opening spots for two familiar faces.

Yuniesky Betancourt came into Phillies camp with a clause that allowed him to become a free agent today if the Phillies didn't guarantee him a spot on the opening day roster. The Phillies didn't waste much time after Sunday's game making their decision and released Betancourt, who hit .447 with the Phillies this spring.

Barring a trade or other roster move, Kevin Frandsen (above) and Freddy Galvis have made the Phillies opening day roster. Frandsen hit .338 in 55 games with the Phillies last season. (Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Betancourt got extended playing time thanks to the absence of shortstop , who was playing in the World Baseball Classic on Team USA.

Dropping Betancourt from consideration for the opening day roster basically assures Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis that they'll be on the opening day roster. The only potential road block is a last minute trade or free agent signing by the Phillies.

GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said the Phillies had attempted to trade Betancourt, but were unable to do so. This past week, Betancourt's agent had said he wouldn't accept a minor league assignment and would invoke the clause allowing him to become a free agent. With that in mind, the Phillies simply released Betancourt, who is likely to sign quickly with another club.

In Sunday's game, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard hit back-to-back home runs for the second day in a row. Utley's home run gives him three home runs in two games. Howard's home run is his seventh of the spring, tying him for the team lead with .

Cliff Lee started Sunday for the Phillies and allowed six runs - four earned - over 5 1/3 innings of work. Jeremy Horst, who is battling for a bullpen job, allowed an unearned run in the top of the ninth that put Boston up 7-6.

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