Braves’ Francisco homers in first at-bat back at old home park

CINCINNATI — Welcome home, Juan. Boooooo.

Filling in for Chipper  Jones on Monday, Braves third baseman Juan Francisco homered in his first at-bat back at his old home ballpark in Cincinnati.  The second-inning solo shot  tied the score at 1-all against his former team, and plenty of Reds fans booed as Francisco took a rather leisurely trot around the bases.

The former Reds corner-infield prospect was traded to Atlanta on the last weekend of spring training. Francisco didn’t get much playing time in Cincinnati with Joey Votto and Scott Rolen on the infield corners.

Francisco is perhaps best remembered by Reds fans for a 502-foot homer he hit in September that sailed entirely over the right-field stands and out of the ballpark, the longest homer ever hit at the stadium.

He had a .212 average with three homers, 11 RBIs and 21 strikeouts in 66 at-bats for the Braves before Monday, when he made his 15th start at third base.

“We got him to [fill in when needed] for Chipper,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said before the game. “He’s done that. He’s done fine.”

Beachy faces test Tuesday

If there’s a more homer-friendly NL ballpark than Colorado, most players will tell you it’s Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park, sometimes referred to as Great American Small Park. Brandon Beachy has already tamed Coors Field this season, now he’ll bring his majors-leading 1.33 ERA to Cincy.

With his national profile rising with each start, Beachy (5-1) will face Reds right-hander Mat Latos (2-2, 4.63 ERA) on Tuesday.

“He’s going to just continue to do the same thing he’s been doing, mixing in all three of his pitches and commanding all of his pitches and going deep in the ballgame,” Gonzalez said. “This place is tough for pitchers and the managers. I talked with [pitching coach] Roger [McDowell], I said don’t let me go to that bullpen too often. I remember coming in here as a first-year manager with Florida and the sixth inning you’re going right, left, right [relievers] … by the eighth inning you’ve only got one guy left in the bullpen.”

23 comments Add your comment

TexasRose

May 21st, 2012
8:16 pm

Watching the Cincinnati TV feed…their announcers said team let Francisco go due to his showing up overweight and what they called his “lack of devotion” to the game…

Game Changer

May 21st, 2012
8:25 pm

And Uggle K’s in the first plate appearance, some things dont change but one thing is for sure, Uggla is a game changer- two K’s with bases loaded same game, wonder how ofter that has occured in MLB?

My Thoughts

May 21st, 2012
8:26 pm

It takes 3 straight home runs before McDowell gets off his lazy azz and goes to the mound. With Gonzales lack of standing up for his players I wonder if those two have a contest to see who can sit on their butts the longest. We will not win with this Mutt & Jeff combo !!

Falcons4Eva

May 21st, 2012
8:26 pm

Are you kidding me Minor? What are you doing? Freddie must be sleep at the wheel again, or writing his “Tip your cap’ post game speach…

SMH

Falcons4Eva

May 21st, 2012
8:27 pm

Send Minor AZZ back to Gwinnett! Period. End of Story.

bucket

May 21st, 2012
8:28 pm

FG said, “I talked with [pitching coach] Roger [McDowell], I said don’t let me go to that bullpen too often.” Well if that was the plan trotting Minor out there again was probably a bad move.

My Thoughts

May 21st, 2012
8:31 pm

Remember how good Minor was in Spring Training ? Delgado usually has one bad inning. If we had a comeptent pitching coach he would find a way to correct the flaws. Good proof of this is Derrick Lowe. Would he be doing what he is doing in Cleveland if he was here this year ? Not with McDudd as pitching coach.

Tom

May 21st, 2012
8:32 pm

If Teheran is not pitching Saturday I will boo minor to Gwinett

Largo

May 21st, 2012
8:52 pm

I just got home and turned on the game. Nothing new with Minor. 4 innings pitched, five hits, four bases on balls and four homers. Nobody is that bad and still in the majors. Patience, Fredi says. Well, I got your patience, Fredo. Guess where. Wow, Minor and Delgado really suck. Huddy and Beachy, they are the guys. Oh yeah, you better keep Wild Man Venters on the bench, he’s gonna kill somebody.

JNick

May 21st, 2012
9:50 pm

@My Thoughts, remember, Lowe is in a contract year…he always seems to perform when there’s $$$ on the line.

@Largo, we’re kind of out of options…what do we do, bring up JJ and Teheran, both of whom got shelled in their last outings in AAA?

My Thoughts

May 21st, 2012
10:00 pm

JNick what difference does a contract year have to do with the ability (with an improved pitching coach) to make the necessary corrections and improve ???

JNick

May 21st, 2012
10:15 pm

@My Thoughts, plenty of professional athletes put up “career years” during a contract year (final year of their current contract) because they have that sense of urgency to perform – to show that they’re worth another big money deal. Pretty much common knowledge. You see it all over…

Check out Lowe’s last season in LA before signing with the Braves – lowest ERA/WHIP in 6 seasons. Pretty coincidental if you ask me. Now all the sudden he’s doing it again this year with Cleveland….hmmm…

You’re giving an awful lot of credit to a pitching coach for a player’s performance. Hudson and Beachy sure don’t seem to be affected by “McDudd”. And if it’s all about the pitching coach, why did Leo fail when he went to Baltimore? By your logic, they should be on their way to winning 14 straight league championships and have 3 future HoF’ers on the staff….

JNick

May 21st, 2012
10:16 pm

You think at age 38, a pitching coach is really going to teach Lowe anything he doesn’t already know?

My Thoughts

May 21st, 2012
10:40 pm

JNick maybe just maybe Beachy and Hudson do what most with more sense than you would do and ignore McDudd and as far as Leo’s failure with Baltimore look what he had to work with ?? Yes at age 38 any smart human being, a class you dont seem to be included in, will never be too old to take advice from anyone.

JNick

May 21st, 2012
10:49 pm

Ah, yes, I’m the one with no sense here…

JNick

May 21st, 2012
10:53 pm

JNick

May 21st, 2012
10:56 pm

….more college papers…

http://economics-files.pomona.edu/GarySmith/MLBFreeAgency.pdf

…and an article from Rotoworld…

http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/mlb/39696/294/contract-year-players

But yeah…I’m just talking out my ass about a concept that doesn’t exist…

DHD

May 22nd, 2012
7:07 am

I guess we’re supposed to win every road game? Lighten up, Francis.

BravesFan79

May 22nd, 2012
8:21 am

I love the Braves – always have, but GET RID OF JUAN FRANCISCO RIGHT NOW. The guy is obviously a complete punk (sideways hat – bat flip – slow trot around the bases). Guys like him usually didn’t make it past the first year in Bobby’s organization, and my hope is this guy doesn’t either. It’s easy to tell – he’s bad news. Really? Flipping the bat and slow-trotting on a solo homer, dude? Totally bush-league and classless. I’m stunned he didn’t get one in his earhole the second at bat.

Why not?

May 22nd, 2012
8:45 am

BravesFan79

I have no problem with Francisco flipping the bat and trotting like he did. I’m sure it felt gret hitting a homer against the team that wanted no part of you.

jj

May 22nd, 2012
9:17 am

I agree Juan was just letting his old team know he could still hit..etc.
Don’t forget he is a rookie in early 20’s. He will be ok and the Braves clubhouse policy will rub off on him. The Bobby Cox organization has nothing to do with it.(BC is gone)
I agree with My Thought on the pitching coach are suppost to be coach. Even Lowe has made remarks about Braves pitching coach. Not good I might say.

Tim

May 22nd, 2012
10:07 am

You guys need to lay off Minor. Read the recent article on AJC about young pitchers breaking into the bigs. Minor has big talent. It showed when the bravos drafted him high, it showed the last two years, and it really showed in Spring training. But the guy is young. He is learning. All your bitching does is show how effing stupid you are and how like spoiled babies you whiners are. Give the kid a chance- he is learning, it was a small park, and homers are fixable. Take the homers away, which he will fix, and the kid is legit.

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