Saturday, July 5, 2008

Francoeur Sent to Minors :(

Just when you didn't think the 2008 baseball season could get any worse for the Atlanta Braves' Jeff Francoeur, it did yesterday as "Frenchy" was optioned to the Braves Double A Mississippi affiliate. Jeff got off to a nice start this year, and as of April 27th was hitting .294 with three home runs and 19 RBI's to go with a .500 slugging percentage and only nine strikeouts in his first 102 at bats. Included in his hot April start was his career night - a two home run, seven RBI effort against the Nationals in Washington on April 12th.

Since then though, it's been tough going for my second favorite Parkview High School (Georgia) graduate. A .207 batting average to go along with 53 strikeouts and 22 RBI's in the 60 games since was enough to convince the Braves brass to send him down. For the year he's hitting only .234. Of course, that is a lot better than his ex-teammate Andruw Jones, who posted a .222 average for the Braves last year, and currently sits well below the Mendoza line at .159 while flailing away for the Los Angeles Dodgers - he struck out four times in five at bats yesterday in his post-DL return against the rival San Francisco Giants.

Three years ago this coming Monday (which happens to coincidentally be my birthday), Jeff made his major league debut, clubbing a three-run homer in a 9-4 Braves victory over the Chicago Cubs. The Braves are coming to L.A. next week and I was hoping to catch Jeff, major league batting leader Chipper Jones, and the rest of the team as they faced the Dodgers in a three game series beginning next Monday night. I may still go, but now I'm not so sure.

From what I understand, the plan is for Jeff to spend 20 days down at Mississippi and then he will be called back up to the big club. Hopefully, he will get his swing and focus back and be the player that has shown so much promise in his first two years as a major leaguer.


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