Tag: jeff francoeur

Mets Game 92: Win Over Nationals

Mets 6 Nationals 2

The Comeback has begun.

On the shoulders of Livan Hernandez and behind the bat of Jeff Francoeur, the new new new Mets started their second-half assault on the rest of the NL East by beating the cellar-dwelling Nationals.

Hernandez threw seven stellar innings, allowing only two runs on five hits and two walks against the mighty Nats. Hernandez kept the DC sluggers guessing by mixing a variety of pitches, speeds, and angles in a performance that guaranteed his spot in the rotation for at least another five days.

Meantime, Jeff Francoeur showed the world why Omar Minaya was right and the rest of MLB wrong, blasting an RBI double in the second and a solo homer in the ninth, powering a Mets offense that pummeled Washington pitching for nine hits. Similarly, Dan Murphy rewarded the patience of Jerry Manuel and solidified his spot as the #3 hitter with a two-hit, two-RBI evening. Shame on all of you who wondered why the .238-hitting Murphy was penciled into the three-hole … he’s Daniel Murphy, and He Hits Third!

In addition to Livan’s high-quality start, the bullpen was stupendous, capped by Frankie Rodriguez’s 12-pitch, perfect ninth in a non-save situation.


Francoeur was 3-for-4 on the day and saw 18 pitches — more than any other Met. Now that he’s gotten over the emotional hump of returning to his hometown, there’s no stopping “Jeff the Juggernaut”.

Francoeur became the third Met to hit a homerun this month! The last time the Mets had three different players hit a four-bagger in a single month was May of 1906, when Roland Agni, Luke Gofannon, and John Baal each pulled the trick. Of course, back then the Mets played in parks three times the size of Citi Field and the ball was “dead”, so I imagine all three of those “quadruples” were inside-the-park jobs, the result of line drives sneaking between the outfielders and rolling a quarter-mile to the fence.

Angel Pagan continues to blister the ball, burn up the basepaths, and sweep up centerfield — he went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI from the leadoff spot. I can’t decide whether he’s making me forget Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, or both.

Jeremy Reed went 0-for-4, sinking his average to a season-low .250, and I imagine the newly promoted Cory Sullivan will be given a shot to take away his half of the LF platoon. After all, Reed is no Danny Murphy.

Since the Phillies routed the Cubs 10-1, the Mets didn’t gain any ground in the standings. But that’s neither here nor there — the turning point we’ve been waiting for all season has finally occurred. I can taste it! (Or is that whiskey on my lips?)

Next Mets Game

The Mets demolish the Nationals on Tuesday night at 7:05 PM. Oliver Perez hurls for the Metropolitans while John Lannan plays the role of sacrificial lamb for the Nationals. Be sure to tune in early or you may miss the game-winning hit.


Mets Game 86: Win Over Reds

Mets 4 Reds 0

The Jeff Francoeur Era has begun — and it’s begun with a bang.

Sparked by Francoeur’s spectacular defense, ICBM-like warmup throws between innings, and clutch hitting, the Mets ravaged the Reds 4-0.

Francoeur wasted no time in establishing himself as the team’s new star and face of the franchise, making a nearly impossible play look routine on the first play of the game. A few minutes later, he blasted a two-run single to give the Mets a lead they’d never relinquish.

Also contributing to the victory was Johan Santana, who spun seven innings of shutout ball. Santana allowed only 5 hits, 1 walk, and struck out 5 en route to his 10th win of the season.

Pedro Feliciano and Francisco Rodriguez pitched impeccably in the final two frames to secure the game for the Mets.


The Mets are now 1-0 with Jeff Francoeur. That’s a 1.000 winning percentage, for those keeping score at home. Say all you want about Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, etc., etc., but NONE of those players have a perfect record.

Angel Pagan went 2-for-4 with a triple, 2 runs scored, and two stolen bases, an effort that will super-glue Jeremy Reed’s butt to the bench until Pagan’s next injury. Though, Reed did wrap a single in his only at-bat in the bottom of the eighth.

Omir Santos had three hits and an RBI.

Who says Jeff Francoeur swings at everything? Frenchy saw 17 pitches in four plate appearances — that was three more than Luis Castillo, who sees more pitches per at-bat than just about anybody.

Francoeur’s presence in right field had an immediate impact, as not one Reds runner attempted to take an extra base on a ball hit to him.

Ryan Church was 0-for-4 in his debut with the Braves in Colorado. This deal is already panning out in the Mets’ favor.

In other NL East news, the Phillies scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Pirates 8-7, so the Mets did not gain any ground. The Phillies are sooo lucky.

Next Mets Game

The rubber match occurs at 1:10 PM on Sunday afternoon. Jeff Francoeur will play right field for the Mets and Mike Pelfrey will pitch. Aaron Harang tosses for Cincinnati in the final game before the All-Star break.


Mets Talking Points: Saturday, July 10

New category here: Mets talking points. In this section we will review the assumed talking points as directed by David Howard to the SNY and WFAN announcers.

Not surprisingly, Saturday’s talking points will focus, for the most part, on newly acquired Jeff Francoeur.

“Jeff Francoeur plays every day, he’s a solid, durable player”

“Jeff Francoeur’s presence makes at least one spot in the lineup easy for Jerry Manuel — he can pencil him in every day. | Francoeur’s presence should add more consistency and stability to the lineup”

“Jeff Francouer has a lot of upside”

“Jeff Francoeur is a pull hitter, and that’s the type of hitter who can hit homeruns in Citi Field”

“Jeff Francouer is a Gold Glove fielder with an outstanding arm”

“Jeff Francoueur is a remarkable talent, a fantastic athlete who was a multi-sport star in high school”

“Jeff Francoeur’s best friend is Brian McCann. The two knew each other growing up in Atlanta and then grew up together in the Braves’ organization”

“Jeff Francoeur’s one weakness is that he’s over-aggressive at the plate. Howard Johnson will work with him on that”

“The arrival of Francoeur turns the Mets from a ‘lefty-heavy’ to ‘righty-heavy’ lineup, and it will be interesting to see how Jerry Manuel juggles Fernando Tatis and Gary Sheffield into the lineup”

“Jeff Francoeur’s presence and powerful bat takes some of the pressure off David Wright”

“The Mets want to finish strong going into the All-Star break, so they have something to build on when they return next week”

“Though, Jerry Manuel is not a strong believer in the idea of momentum”

“No one’s spot in the starting rotation is safe right now, except of course Johan Santana. Especially with the recent success of Jonathan Niese”

Be sure to comment if/when you hear any of the above uttered during the Mets’ TV and/or radio broadcast.


Brave Opinions of Jeff Francoeur

Likely you’ve read all you can find from the New York press and blogosphere in regard to the Ryan Church – Jeff Francoeur trade.

Here are a few of the opinion of Francoeur from the Braves’ perspective:

The Francoeur trade: A Sad But Necessary Ending


“This is how much the Braves wanted rid of Jeff Francoeur: They traded him to a team they’ll play 19 times a year, which means they’d rather put themselves in the repeated position of losing to him than have kept him around here. That’s how far the Golden Child had fallen, and how fast.”

He’s Frenchy, as in Benchy, and he could soon be gone

“It takes Cox a lot longer to lose faith than it does, say, Lou Piniella. Cox believes until he’s given reason to stop believing, but when he stops … well, that’s about all she wrote. … Francoeur was extended an even longer grace period — we’re now going on a second calendar year of his laboriously documented flailings — but has simply ceased being a competent big-league hitter.”

Excerpt from the Braves blog Talking Chop:

“Church doesn’t represent a real upgrade in the power department, though he certainly uses more of his ability than Francoeur does, but he is an equal defender and is better at getting on base. … On first blush I like this trade. We get a better hitter, even if we did have to give up the once-face of the franchise (but that ship sailed a while ago). The risk here is that Francoeur figures something out and comes back to bite us time and again, but the odds of that happening are pretty slim if you’ve watched Francoeur over the last couple of years.”

From Rowland’s Office:

“He ain’t Roberto Clemente, but Ryan Church is a better player than Pan, period. It would appear the home team got the better end of this one. … I’m surprised we got this much for Pan. … The deal is getting a surprisingly, to me, good reception at Metsblog.com, a high-profile, yeah, Mets blog. Those fellows are choosing to view Pan as a young player with upside. Good luck, gents.”

From David Lee at Braves Buzz:

“Thank the Lord. Hallelujah. I’m standing and cheering. Jeff Francoeur has been traded to the Mets for Ryan Church.

My first reaction: the Mets? Wow. The Mets. Probably the last place Francoeur wanted to go and try to work things out. I already know Mets fans don’t want the guy, just imagine how it’ll be when Jeff grounds into double play after double play. A negative atmosphere is not something he’s used to. I wonder how he’ll handle it.

My second reaction: the Braves absolutely robbed the Mets of Church. For the Braves to get anything at all for Francoeur is shocking in itself, but to get a capable lefty hitter who can be plugged into right field immediately is amazing to me. I mean, it’s not even my place to evaluate Church and his flaws because of the fact that the Braves got him for Francoeur.”

From Chop-N-Change:

“MLBTR says that we may have traded Jeff Francoeur. To the Mets. For Ryan Church. Straight up.

I don’t believe it either, but I couldn’t resist putting a smile on your face for the few minutes till it gets denied…”

No need to panic, Mets fans. Maybe all those people who have watched Jeff Francoeur on a daily basis (as noted by Omar Minaya, he does play every day) are a little off on their assessment of Atlanta’s former golden boy. You know, like Mets fans who unreasonably evaluated the performance of Scott Schoeneweis. Yeah.


Mets Trade Ryan Church for Jeff Francoeur

The Mets have traded Ryan Church to the Atlanta Braves for Jeff Francoeur, according to GM Omar Minaya.

My initial, gut reaction is, I’m going to miss Church, who never really got a true opportunity to play every day under Jerry Manuel, but in Francoeur, the Mets get a younger, more physically talented outfielder, who plays the game the right way — much like Church does. My next gut reaction is, “whoa, why were the Braves so eager to rid themselves of a young, highly talented, local boy like Francoeur? What do they know that they’re not telling us?”

From all accounts, though Francoeur was the golden boy in Atlanta as recently as a year and a half ago, something changed when GM Frank Wren gained full control of the club’s personnel. Some kind of rift between the two occurred that was never healed, and Wren has been looking to move Francoeur for months (most recently he offered him to the Marlins for Cody Ross).

Similarly, something occurred in Jerry Manuel’s head that caused him to hate Ryan Church. We don’t know what, we don’t know why, and the two can deny it until their deathbeds, but the writing was on the wall: Manuel didn’t like Church, and the organization as a whole never saw Church as an everyday player. Going to Atlanta and Bobby Cox will be an outstanding change for Church. I believe very strongly that Church, under Cox and playing “the Braves Way”, can and will blossom into a good, not great, complementary everyday rightfielder.

Meantime, Francoeur’s change in scenery could prove equally fruitious (damn I hope so!). Clearly, he strikes out way too much, and doesn’t take pitches, and that will drive us nuts. But he also has the raw talent to be a star. Whether he realizes that potential is anyone’s guess — and part of his problem is he’s as stubborn as a mule when it comes to changing his approach. If he doesn’t ever “get” the idea of plate discipline, he’ll be the offensive version of Oliver Perez — an eternal, frustrating enigma.

What I do like about Francoeur is he appears to have a strong personality, and maybe he can be the guy who turns the tide in the clubhouse. He plays hard, and if he’s performing well, he could be an influencer / leader. We’ll see.

Interesting to note that Minaya mentioned — about 18 times — that Francoeur is “an everyday player”. I wonder if the front office is sending the message to Jerry Manuel that Francoeur WILL BE penciled into the lineup every single day, and enough with the inane mixing and matching.

Minaya also pointed out that Francoeur is “better suited to Citi Field” because, “…although Ryan Church was a very good fielder, players around the league will tell you that Jeff Francoeur covers a lot of ground …” and, “…he has a very strong arm.” Wait, Omar … didn’t you just describe Ryan Church? Doesn’t Church cover a lot of ground, and have a very strong arm? Meh.

So much for Jeremy Reed’s chance to get some playing time — with Francoeur coming in and Angel Pagan off the DL, Reed goes back to being Gary Sheffield’s late-inning caddy.

Also strange, during the press conference, was Minaya’s comment that “guys who pull the ball are able to take advantage of that left field wall” in Citi Field, and Francoeur fits that definition of pull hitter. Really? Where’s the evidence? Because two or three opponents jerked hanging curveballs into the left field seats? Because Sheffield planted one or two out there? Until the “Soot Monster” is lowered by 30 feet and brought in another 30, righties are going to have a tough time sending one over the fence (or otherwise “using it to their advantage”).

I hope this deal works out well for Francoeur and the Mets; I know it’s going to work out for Church and the Braves. Occasional MetsToday contributor John Fitzgerald suggests that “Frenchy” is the next Mike Marshall (the bigfooted first baseman, not the wacko pitcher). It’s an intriguing comparison.



Francoeur for Greinke?

Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe is reporting that the Braves are discussing a deal with the Royals that would send outfielder Jeff Francoeur to Kansas City for righthander Zack Greinke.

From the article:

According to one National League executive, the Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves have had serious discussions about a trade that would send outfielder Jeff Francouer to the Royals for pitcher Zack Greinke. The same source said he believed the teams were close to executing the deal, but that Atlanta was holding up any and all trade discussions until the Braves had a resolution of their pursuit of right-hander A.J. Burnett. Current Royals GM Dayton Moore (who interviewed for the Red Sox’ job during Theo Epstein’s walkabout in 2005-06) is a former member of the Braves organization who is eager to bring Francouer to Kansas City.

Hmm … while I would love for the pesky Francoeur to leave Atlanta, I simply don’t see it happening. Despite his mid-season slump and temporary demotion to the minors, the organization seems to love Francoeur and the home-grown, “local boy done good” story attached to him. But then, the Braves have been operating differently since John Schuerholz retired.

If A.J. Burnett spurns Atlanta’s contract offer, the Braves will be in a fairly desperate situation, so a trade of Francoeur to fill a rotation spot is not completely unrealistic. Further, Greinke reminds me a lot of a young, righthanded Tom Glavine — a poised, confident pitcher with sick command of a 90-MPH fastball and offspeed stuff.

On the other hand, how many more young pitchers can the Royals afford to trade?

******* UPDATE ************

Joe Hamrahi says (through Twitter) that the Francoeur – Greinke rumors are “false false false”.

Hamrahi is tweeting live from Vegas. You can read more on Baseball Digest Daily.

****** UPDATE 2 ************

Mark Healey, also tweeting live from Vegas, says this rumor is “half-true”, and that the Royals are targeting Yunel Escobar, not Francoeur. This makes a lot more sense from Atlanta’s POV, as they seem ardent to dealing the Cuban shortstop. Does that mean the Braves sign someone like Orlando Cabrera? Or bring back Rafael Furcal? This one is worth watching.