Thursday, April 26, 2012

Francoeur Continues To Struggle, Yost Continues To Look The Other Way

Ned Yost's handling of Jeff Francoeur right now is one transgression I can't forgive. Yost appears to be seemingly unaware that Francoeur is lost at the plate, and has been for a couple weeks. But today, for the 16th time this year, he'll be batting fifth, creating a rally killing hole in the middle of the lineup. Since April 14th Francoeur has hit just .152/.188/.217 in 48 plate appearances. For the season he's at .225/.267/.296 with zero home runs and only 2 runs batted in. Now we all know RBI is a flawed stat, but flawed or not, that number is awfully low for a #5 hitter 18 games into the season. 

Of the eleven Royals with 20+ plate appearances Francoeur is 11th in OPS+, 10th in RBI's, 10th in batting average, 11th in on base percentage and 11th in slugging percentage. And oh yeah, he's tied with Butler for the most times grounding into a double play. Simply put, he's currently the worst hitter on the team, and he's still batting in the middle of the order.

Given Yost's proclivity to juggle the lineup it's amazing that he's failed to significantly drop Francoeur for even a few games. He did hit 6th once during the Toronto series and responded with 2 hits. That was enough to apparently convince Yost that his slump was over because he was immediately moved back to 5th where he's gone 2 for 14 since. His slow start is a bad omen for the rest of the season because historically April is his best month. I mean, if he's this unproductive now, how will he fare in May and June, his two worst months.

I've been hesitant to board the Fire Ned Yost bandwagon despite his counter-productive base running strategy and despite his insistence on playing for 1 run in the early parts of games. Not to mention he still is clueless on how to best employ his relief pitchers. But this Francoeur thing, man, it's pushing me into rage territory. What really irritates me is that Yost is insistent on Francoeur receiving more at bats than Mike Moustakas. Moose, as you know, is having a terrific season (9 extra base hits, 132 OPS+) and the highest he's hit in the order is 6th. And remember, he was actually benched a game earlier in the season. I get the whole left, right, left lineup thing. I also don't care. I'd like Francoeur to get a day or two off and then bat 8th until he comes out of his slump.  

Now that I've ranted this probably means Francoeur will get 4 hits and a home run today, and gosh, won't that just show me?

No comments:

Post a Comment