Why Haven’t the Giants Dumped Jeff Francoeur Already?

I just looked at the box score to today’s Giants-Nationals game, and while I wasn’t shocked to see the Giants had lost 4-2, I was shocked to see that Jeff Francoeur got another start.  Francoeur hit a single in four at-bats, but didn’t do anything else of note.

He’s now batting .204 with a .459 OPS in 18 games and 55 plate appearances as a Giants, after hitting .208 with a .571 OPS for the Royals in 59 games and 193 plate appearances which, of course, got him run out of Kansas City.

I thought that signing Francoeur in the first place was a dumb move for the Giants, and he’s now well more than proved me right.  Francoeur has no value at all as an offensive player, and his only value on defense is his throwing arm, which is barely utilized with Francoeur playing almost exclusively in left field.

The Giants would be best served by dumping Francoeur immediately and giving all of his future plate appearances to Brett Pill.  Pill hasn’t done much at the major league level this year, but he hit a ton at AAA Fresno, batting .344 with a 1.010 OPS.  He’s certainly a better hitter at this moment than Francoeur is.

The problem seems to be that the Giants don’t think that Pill can play the outfield at the major league level, and they may well have a point.  Pill has played only twelve games in the outfield his entire professional career.

Since Pill isn’t going to run Brandon Belt off of first base in San Francisco, you would think the Giants could have played Pill at least a little bit in left field at the minor league level so that they could get at least a little more use out of him as a utility player with the parent club.  Well, the Giants haven’t done so, and the major leagues isn’t a great place for on-the-job training, at least for a player with Pill’s likely limited defensive skill set.

Instead, the most that Pill is likely to get out of the great season he’s had at Fresno and the limited playing time he’s received in San Francisco this year is a possible shot at signing a contract with a Japanese team for the 2014 season.

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2 Comments on “Why Haven’t the Giants Dumped Jeff Francoeur Already?”

  1. bob healy Says:

    Your article about Pill was great. Give him a chance. Other moves would be to try Buster at Third of Left. He looks tired and so does his bat. Splitting time with Belt at First is no longer an option. They need Buster’s bat. They need Sandoval’s bat but either he comes to spring training in shape or he goes to the American League. What is your opinion about Buster in Left?

  2. Burly Says:

    August 20, 2013: Giants dumped Jeff Francoeur today. SF Chronicle’s Henry Schulman suggests the Gints kept Francy around this long only because he was good in the clubhouse.


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