Thursday, August 18, 2011

Two More Years

Since his hot streak in April I thought it likely that Jeff Francoeur would be back next season, I was less sure about 2013. Well I'm left to wonder no more as Francoeur was the recipient of a shiny new two year contract extension today. While there is of course the normal amount of outrage you'd expect from any Francoeur transaction some of the rumblings are missing the point.

First, it's completely untrue to claim that Francoeur has had only one good month. When the 2011 dust settles I believe it'll show he had the best season of his career. Don't get me wrong, he did have a great April (.926 OPS), but he also had a great July (.908 OPS) and is having a good August (.813). He is 5 home runs and 1 stolen base away from the being the just the fourth Royal to have a 20/20 season, so you can see the one good month argument is not rooted in fact.

Here are monthly splits:
Split PA 2B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
April/March 112 9 5 20 3 7 18 .314 .357 .569 .926
May 115 4 4 12 3 6 22 .233 .287 .388 .675
June 107 5 2 15 7 6 22 .235 .280 .367 .648
July 114 11 3 15 5 11 11 .306 .377 .531 .908
August 65 6 1 4 1 4 21 .311 .354 .459 .813
Second, I think this has more to do with Wil Myers than Lorenzo Cain. Now this is just speculation on my part but I think Myers struggles in AA may have spooked Moore a bit. He's batting a pedestrian .254/.354/.373 as he's battled assorted ailments this season. While my initial reaction was that Myers could get Cain'd in 2013 it's important to remember that he's still just 20 years old and will only be 23 on opening day 2014. Cain is 25 and has major league experience, meaning my poorly thought out comparison probably was way off. So while I was wanting Myers to be the opening day right fielder in 2013 it won't be the end of the world if he's not.

My preference for next season would be an outfield of Gordon/Cain/Cabrera, which obviously now isn't going to happen. What we'll most likely get is an encore presentation of this season's outfield with Cain as their backup ready to step in should Cabrera regress to his pre-2011 self. In 2013 I expect to see a Gordon/Cain/Francouer with Myers replacing Francoeur, if not at some point that season, then definitely the next. That scenario is, of course, assuming Cain will productive, which frankly we just don't know.

There is also the chance that Moore will use Myers as trade bait this winter in an attempt to upgrade the rotation. Depending on the return he'd get I'm not sure that would be a bad idea.

I'm not enamored that Francoeur received two years but I don't believe it's the abomination some are making it out to be either.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone is really spooked by Myers struggles this year... his knee problems have played a significant part of his dip in contact and power numbers, but his approach is still elite and he's only 20 years old.

Jeff Parker said...

Spooked may not have been the right word but at any rate his timeline has been set back. I could see him splitting time between AA and AAA next year with a full season of AAA in 2013.