Bradley’s Buzz: Is it time to bid adieu to Frenchy?

Francoeur on the way out?

Last week Mark Bowman, who covers the Braves for MLB.com, speculated openly about the need for the Braves to upgrade their outfield and that Jeff Francouer could soon be on an outbound plane. Included was Bowman’s sobering appraisal: “The Braves aren’t going to get much in return for Francoeur. But they need to at least explore the possibility of moving him before they reach a point during the offseason when they might non-tender him and get absolutely nothing in return for a former top prospect.”

Note the “ouch” phrases: “Aren’t going to get much” and “non-tender him” and, worst of all, “former top prospect.”

About Mr. Bowman: He’s a good guy and a good reporter. He’s not given to flights of fancy. (Unlike, say, me.) If he’s broaching the topic on MLB.com, it stands to reason there’s chatter ongoing within the Braves’ organization. And that might not be a bad thing. As much as I like Francoeur, I think we’re approaching the point where it makes sense — for both parties — to take divergent paths.

Should the Braves trade Jeff Francoeur?

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Bowman suggested Texas might be a destination for Francouer, given that the Rangers have had immediate success with Andruw Jones. (Heck, Francoeur is already working more closely with Rudy Jaramillo, the Rangers’ batting coach, than with Terry Pendleton.) Me, I’d just as soon the Braves never again mess with Texas, trade-wise. But maybe that’s just me.

Are you ready for some football?

Esteemed former colleague Mark Schlabach presents his updated preseason Top 25 on ESPN.com, and he has Georgia Tech (No. 15) rated one spot ahead of Georgia (No. 16). That sounds about right for the latter but too low for the former.

In a companion piece, Schlabach analyzes how each of his ranked teams can improve its standing. He says Tech needs to throw the ball better and Georgia needs to run it more. Me, I suggest the Bulldogs might tighten up the ol’ D as well, but again … maybe that’s just me.

As for Georgia’s opening-game opponent: Schlabach has Oklahoma State ranked No. 10, and Matt Hayes of Sporting News Today lists the Cowboys among his four teams on the rise. OSU, Hayes avers, has “three legitimate Heisman Trophy candidates.” But you know the old saying: Give Willie Martinez eight months to prepare …

The Falcons need outfielders … er, linebackers!

Writing for ESPN.com’s Insider, Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders — an outsider on the inside; is that even allowed? — counts the Falcons’ outside-linebacking crew as No. 9 on his list of unfilled roster holes. (Link requires registration.) Writes Barnwell: “They wrapped Band-Aids on the problem with converted safety Coy Wire and former Jacksonville middle linebacker Mike Peterson, who will be 33 and hasn’t played outside since 2002. Those aren’t solutions. They’re prayers.”

It’s almost time for Don Waddell to do another draft

And, according to Gare Joyce on ESPN.com, the Thrashers will spend the fourth overall pick on Evander Kane (requires registration), a center from Vancouver of the WHL. This sounds OK to me, center being a key hockey position and all. But I still haven’t gotten over the Falcons’ failure to draft Evander “Ziggy” Hood, and I fear the presence of another Evander on the Atlanta sports scene would only deepen my depression.

My personal issues aside, here’s a capsule rundown of Kane from Hockey’s Future. And below, from NHL.com via YouTube, is a video feature.

282 comments Add your comment

Supes

May 25th, 2009
12:11 pm

Mark, the sooner the Braves end the Jeff F. experiment the better. I think it’ll be beneficial to both sides. I wish Jeff no ill will, but it’s clear to me he’ll never recover to be the 30HR/100RBI/280 hitter we all expected him to be. Maybe that’s it. Too much expectations too fast. Maybe after a year and 2 months it’s not a slump, it’s who Jeff really is? A serviceable OF. It’s certainly not the bill of good sold to the fans. Will anyone remember the Delta commercials 10 years from now?:)

Agreed on UGA. D-Fense needs to be improved if the Dawgs are to have any shot at having a solid season. I think UGA will surprise some “experts” in that first game, b/c our offense will not have such a noticable drop in production. The Cowboys Defense is not good at all. They give up a bunch of big plays, and points. UGA should expose them, just as much as UGA’s defense maybe exposed themselves. I expect one team to score in the high 30’s/ low 40’s and the other to be trailing by 10-21 points when it’s all said and done.

As far as the Falcons…I was one of the few bloggers (on draft day) and even before that advocated getting a LB in the draft with one of our first 2 round picks. They didn’t do that…so I guess they think what we have on the roster is good enough to get us through 2009. I would surely think that 2010 draft, LB is addressed with a top pick in rounds 1 and or 2. Would have loved to have any of USC’s LB here at Flowery Branch, but it was not to be.

David

May 25th, 2009
12:15 pm

Frency is a good player, great OF. But he doesn’t seem to have the mental approach or toughness. We keep hearing about his swing or his atance but those aren’t the problem. It is between the ears. How he mentally approaches every at bat and follows up and learns from mistakes is the article that should be written

They shouldn’t give him away because he is talented and is still learning. It’s up to Wren to be the salesmen.

But we need an OF that can either steal bases or drive in runs with HRs and slugging %. Anderson (holding the position until Heyward) and Schafer neither do that. Maybe Schafer can steal bases in the future but his OBP has to be much higher.

We can’t continue to rely on “timely” hitting because at some point you either have to manufacture runs (see the Blue Jays yesterday when Wells stole 2nd and 3rd) or go deep.

The Mets are the team to beat, much better pitching then the Phils but we could take them if we get a big time bat in the OF. Givern the state of attendence at Turner, they need to do it soon, 4 years of losing would be tought o swallow. Atlanta is spoiled.

Mark Bradley

May 25th, 2009
12:24 pm

It’s not easy playing in your hometown, especially if you’re getting booed in your hometown. That’s why I’m beginning to think a fresh start makes sense all around.

Dr. Warren

May 25th, 2009
12:37 pm

The Falcons’ extremely young, patchwork defense, combined with one of the NFL’s toughest schedules, makes them vulnerable to going 8 -8 or worse. We’ll see what Ryan is truly made of when he tries to buck the sophomore jinx and lead the Big Red Birds to their second straight winning season. We can only hope. And pray that one Mr. Bradley does not pick them to make the playoffs. Sorry, Mark. Mao made me say it.

Mac

May 25th, 2009
12:39 pm

“They wrapped Band-Aids on the problem with converted safety Coy Wire and former Jacksonville middle linebacker Mike Peterson, who will be 33 and hasn’t played outside since 2002. Those aren’t solutions. They’re prayers.”

This guy is must be a drama queen. Way overstates the “problem.” Both those guys can play.

Mark Bradley

May 25th, 2009
12:42 pm

Like I always say, Dr. W: “If not Mao, then when?”

Dozer

May 25th, 2009
12:45 pm

Mark – its time for Frenchy to go – his problems never have been physical – he has no plate discipline & poor mechanics – these are correctible problems except for the fact that he doesn’t WANT to make these changes, and he’s been enabled by this organization from day 1. Where have you ever heard of someone performing as bad as him being shipped to the minors, whining about it publicly & then he’s back within a couple of days?? And why does Bobby continue to trot him out there every day and let him keep doing the same things wrong day after day. Perfect case in point was yesterday about mid-game – runners on first & second with one out – he swings (badly) at the first pitch and pops out to RF. Wouldn’t you think that someone struggling that badly would get a take sign for at least one pitch? Bottom line is this guy may not be that good to begin with, but for sure he will never improve here in this environment because he doesn’t have to. P.S. – nice testament to TP – Francouer goes to another team’s coach for instruction & advice, Chipper & McCann go to their dads……

Bill

May 25th, 2009
12:55 pm

Great job Mark! Frenchy needs to go asp. Problem is he has no trade value…or didn’t last winter. Take what you can get and move him. Braves need to stop the Cox , Frenchy good old boy crap and put JF’s butt on the bench sometimes. Even Bobby needs to retire, and that’s another story.

JD

May 25th, 2009
12:56 pm

it’s clear to me he’ll never recover to be the 30HR/100RBI/280 hitter we all expected him to be. Supes

Maybe a slump of Biblical proportions can alter perceptions on time, but let’s not forget that it hasn’t even been 3 years since Francoeur hit 29 homeruns in just his second big league season. And it’s been less than 2 years since he hit 19 HR and .293. We know he has the talent…why trade a player with so much potential and upside if we “aren’t going to get much in return”?

He’s hitting .571 over his last five games with several hits to center and right. Besides, who is gonna fill in at right? That slugger Matt Diaz? Gregor Blanco, who’s hitting worse than Schafer? Brian Barton, the man who St. Louis deams is Blaine Boyer’s equivalent? Or maybe the not much in return that we’ll get for Frenchy? Trading him doesn’t make much sense…at least not right now.

[...] Mark Bradley | ajc.com – [...]

Mark Bradley

May 25th, 2009
1:02 pm

You can’t trade Francoeur unless you get a starting outfielder in return. And how many GMs are willing to do that? Dayton Moore in KC, maybe?

Coach (2010 or Bust)

May 25th, 2009
1:02 pm

Jeff Francoeur, Kris Medlen and two minor league prospects for Matt Holliday should get it done.

Billy Beane would be crazy to turn it down. Especially when considering that Holliday is a half season rental.

Coach (2010 or Bust)

May 25th, 2009
1:05 pm

Of course, the way that Charlie Morton is pitching, Beane would probably want him instead.

Mac

May 25th, 2009
1:08 pm

Four players for a half-season rental, including a potential MLB starting pitcher? Boy that Tex trade really mess up fans’ perspectives, didn’t it?

Supes

May 25th, 2009
1:10 pm

Coach, you are starting to DRINK early today sir.

Matt Holiday? Really? That’s who you want here? He’s displayed absolutely nothing like he did last year and the year before that when he won the NL Batting title over Chipper. If he were the same player, I’d say go for it, but HE IS NOT. Apparently your STATS need updating on Holiday.

JD,

The Braves have NOBODY ready to step in and contribute in the way they expected Jeff to step up and do this year in their minor league systems. Coach would have us believe that Gorky’s Henrandez tearing up AA pitching (btw…he’s a lead off or number 8 type hitter, zero power and is still learning how to steal bases) needs to be called up, he’s learned NOTHING from watching Jordan Schafer struggle up here (prior to playing half a season at AA).

“Trading him doesn’t make much sense…at least not right now.”

OK then…when? Do you realize if he gets worst (and yes it’s a possibility that some won’t even acknowledge around here) he’ll become black listed “more or less” as someone who’s lost it. You know what you get for a player who’s lost it? Why don’t you ask the Red Sox and Big Papi? They’ll be wondering how in the world to get rid of that guy.

If KC will listen, maybe a swap of sorts…Jeff for David DeJesus can be done. Two players in need to of a “change of scenery” as Mark Bradley suggested with Jeff.

NCBravesFan

May 25th, 2009
1:10 pm

This is where not signing an Ibanez type player for the OF was such a big mistake in the offseason. If we had gotten that kind of bat, we could either keep Frenchy & hope he snaps out of it or at least deal him from a little bit stronger position.

As it is, even better isn’t good enough for JF – we need power,not off-field singles.

RWill

May 25th, 2009
1:12 pm

Does anybody else notice that Frenchy looks awkward in everything he does? He seems to get crossed up fielding, or take an odd route on balls. His swing looks awkward, too. I’ve read people describe it as a slow swing. Everyone else, whether they’re a .250 or .330 hitter, seem to have a much more compact or smooth looking swing. Also, for a guy his size, he seems to be a singles hitter going to the opposite field and a very bad hitter when trying to pull the ball. Kelly Johnson, by comparison, has shown opposite field pop, something Francoeur never really has. I hope he works it out, and something like .260/25-30HR/85+RBI or .285+/15-25HR/80+RBI would be good to see.

TommyP

May 25th, 2009
1:14 pm

RWill: I’ve noticed that, too.

Coach (2010 or Bust)

May 25th, 2009
1:16 pm

Supes, your an idiot. No, your a damn freaking MORON.

Matt holliday is on pace for 25 HR’s, 100 RBI and that’s if he stay’s in Oakland where he has no protection. Put him between Chipper and McCann and the dude will crank 30 plus HR’s and even more RBI.

Billy Beane’s A’s have all but been eliminated from any playoff consideration. At nine games back and it’s only May, Matt Holliday WILL BE TRADED.

Coach (2010 or Bust)

May 25th, 2009
1:17 pm

Enter your comments here

RWill

May 25th, 2009
1:19 pm

Oh, and I still hope he works it out with us and stays a Brave. I’d rather see us address left field with a full-time starter with power before replacing Frenchy. If Anderson puts up numbers like he did in Anaheim, we’re just fine 1-6 in the lineup, and we can remain patient at least through this year with Frenchy. Maybe a bigger question is whether it’s time to part ways with Pendleton? Of our most productive hitters, who has really improved because of him? Why are players going to other hitting coaches or their dads for advice if we’re paying Pendleton to that job?

Bill

May 25th, 2009
1:25 pm

Trade for Holliday only if he will sign for 3 plus years contract. No! for half year rental.

Supes

May 25th, 2009
1:32 pm

LMAO, good one Coach. One thing, glad you are NOT Frank Wren, or we’d be getting another Coors Field Product as a 3 month rental and giving away a pitching prospect or two who may turn out to be truly special.

Matt Holiday – Bust outside of Coors Field. Look up the numbers “Coach”, darn how did you manage to call yourself that and not think things through before posting. Like I said, better pace yourself with the drinking, it’s a long day ahead:)

hop

May 25th, 2009
1:35 pm

it is too late to get anything worth while in trading frenchy.

FRENCHY is swinging much better this year than last and who knows he might have a breakout second half.

the braves need to be patient and not trade their young arms for some
worn out veteran(s).

the last thing the braves need to do is throw away good young talent!

JD

May 25th, 2009
1:36 pm

I’d much rather have Jeff Francoeur in the lineup than DeJesus. Like I said…we all know JF has the potential. I think last year and the past couple of weeks were a real wakeup call for him to realize that for the first time in his life he can’t coast on his natural ability. Hence the adjustments at the plate that he abandoned and has recently come back to. I think (hope) Jeff is going to surprise us real soon.

PS – Coach, it’s YOU’RE. I normally wouldn’t say anything, but since you were calling someone an idiot/moron, I thought you should know. Also, kudos on the “Enter your comments here” post.

Bill

May 25th, 2009
1:36 pm

I’d like to say Thanks to all who have served in the Military this Memorial Day. Those who have served are to be commended and certainly are to be thanked for faithful service. Where would we be without you? God Bless and do what ever you need to keep America safe.

David

May 25th, 2009
1:41 pm

Playing in his hometown has nothing to do with it. Mac is from here too, he doesn’t let it affect him…because he is a great hitter and mentally tough and approaches each at bat seriously.

David

May 25th, 2009
1:47 pm

By the way I really like Jeff and hope he stays and figures it out. They won’t get enough for him so I would prefer to address CF for now.

Mark could you please find out how he appraoces each at bat…like asking why swinging on the 1st pitch makes him a better hitter, when opposing pitchers know he does and gives him junk all too often….to how he looks at scounting reports…to why doesn’t he shorten his swing (take a page from Vernon Wells)….why he trys to pull everything..

I have heard him interviewed and he says he swings early because he likes to be aggressive etc….that is just plain IDIOTIC… which to me is the bigger problem with him. This is the pros Jeff, the Big Leagues….the Show. Teams have scouting reports on you, you have to be smarter than the other team which means knowing they will go after your weaknesses. You have to adapt. You have to learn, take a page out of Chipper and McCann’s book.

Kentavo

May 25th, 2009
1:47 pm

If we could get the A’s to bite on Francoeur package for Holliday, by all means, pull the trigger.

sidslid

May 25th, 2009
1:51 pm

Frenchy has Mike Greenwell power (reference to the old Boston outfielder built like a tank but couldn’t reach the green monster). The Rudy experiment has turned him into a .260 singles hitter. Let’s put him above Komminsk but below Clint Hurdle in the flame out department.

Mark Bradley

May 25th, 2009
2:04 pm

I think Francoeur knows he needs to be more patient at the plate. At the same time, you are who you are.

Ozzfest

May 25th, 2009
2:04 pm

I doubt the folks in Stillwater know what is coming.

Supes

May 25th, 2009
2:20 pm

Mark, I’m not worried about Jeff’s patience at this point. What is most alarming is his lack of power numbers, as in HRs and Doubles. Also slugging % is down, and let’s not even go to OPS.

misterwax

May 25th, 2009
2:24 pm

I would in the interim position Diaz in RF along with JF and ake it known that both are given the incentive to play them selves out of the platoon and / or seek a trade elsewhere…..The entire outfield is as weak as water when it comes to power hitting…not to mention base stealing…Terry Pendleton needs to be examined as well…..but don’t say it too loudly or you will be a “racist”

Supes

May 25th, 2009
2:37 pm

Mark, you should post a poll option. Time to deal Jeff…yes or no option just to see what numbers you get. Just a thought:)

Mark Bradley

May 25th, 2009
2:38 pm

Don’t Diaz and Francoeur both bat right-handed?

Mark Bradley

May 25th, 2009
2:44 pm

OK, Supes. You’ve got your poll. Have at it.

(Good suggestion, by the way. Thanks.)

Supes

May 25th, 2009
3:22 pm

Hope people turn out and vote Mark. Thanks for posting it:)

Frank from KS

May 25th, 2009
3:28 pm

I definately think they should trade Frenchy. As I said on one of DOB’s blogs….I thought Frenchy would be a Andre Dawson-type player who hits for average, power, and drives in runs…not to mention, having the type of arm he has which Dawson had also.

But for some reason, Frenchy has went south. Wouldn’t mind them sending him to the Royals. Former Royal Kevin Seitzer is the Royals hitting coach this season…so he might be able to turn Frenchy’s luck around.

And the Royals are also in contention. So it wouldn’t be like Frenchy going from a contending team to a last place team..not to mention, the Royals could definately use another bat as well. So…IMO, it would be a win-win for everyone involved..altho it would depend on what the Braves would get in return for him.

Mark Bradley

May 25th, 2009
3:36 pm

Supes, I’m counting on you to do the exit polling.

MOVE

May 25th, 2009
3:37 pm

if we let go of frenchey can we get a bag of balls for terry pendleton in that trade. this guy couldnt teach a batter to hit sand if they fell off a camal

Jameson

May 25th, 2009
3:41 pm

Evander Kane is who I’d go with. He’s a forward that can score, and brings some sandpaper that the Thrashers’ roster is desperate for.

JD

May 25th, 2009
3:44 pm

I just don’t see the point of trading Jeff. He has star potential but not much trade value at all. Here are some scenarios:

-We keep Jeff and he flourishes. Terry Pendleton turns out to be a mastermind, and Obama names him Secretary of State.
-We trade Jeff for a warm body and he flourishes. Meanwhile, we have Blanco/Barton/warm body patrolling RF.
-We keep Jeff, and he continues to struggle. He shows flashes of brilliance, but they’re few and far between.

We’re not going to get anything good for him, and Heyward is still about 2 years away. It’s hit or miss if we keep Jeff. I see it as a no win if we trade him.

Mark Bradley

May 25th, 2009
3:46 pm

You know, JD, that sentence of yours pretty much encapsulates Francoeur’s status: “He has star potential but not much trade value at all.”

JD

May 25th, 2009
3:47 pm

Besides…he’s batting like .260 (and that’s on the rise) and is leading the team in RBIs. He’s not crippling us like Andruw of ‘07 or Francoeur of ‘08.

Farside

May 25th, 2009
3:50 pm

Thanks, Mark, for keeping the focus on Francouer. He’s gotta go. One of the worst offensive players in baseball, and almost certainly the worst offensive starting outfielder in the majors. The Braves gave this guy his shot, and he’s proven he is not an every-day player. At least get this jobber out of the lineup every day. His platoon splits show he can be productive against lefties. But I’m sure Frenchy would accept platooning in the same manner that he did his his temporary demotion in 2008. Are the Braves going to wait two more years until minor-league phenoms are ready? Heaven forbid.

RT

May 25th, 2009
3:52 pm

Sure,why not include chipper also, and get something in return.We need a every day star!

Mark Bradley

May 25th, 2009
3:53 pm

Oh, and for the record: I really like Jeff Francoeur. He’s a good guy and a great athlete, and I’ve known him since he was a junior at Parkview. I wish him nothing but success. But I am starting to wonder if it’s going to happen for him here.

Calvin Smythe-Withers

May 25th, 2009
4:03 pm

Yesterday’s at-bat with runners on second and third, one out, when Francoeur grounded weakly to third epitomizes the futility. Yes, trade him. I admit that I may have caused Frenchy a little frustration. I spotted him in line at Dairy Queen and asked him, “when you strangle a smurf what color does he turn?” Frenchy seemed disturbed by the question. He seemed to be trying to work it out in his head but he kept flailing away aimlessly. He even consulted a young boy with a box of Crayolas. I think Frenchy is better suited to riddles than to major league baseball. Trade him now while you can get a box of balls and a couple bats-only maple bats, nothing in ash.

Shoe

May 25th, 2009
4:07 pm

I think its great that everybody is worried about RF and CF, how come in the enitre thread LF hasn’t been addressed. It would be useless to trade Frenchy and get next to nothing in return, when you could get rid of Garret Anderson and his 15 hits (14 singles). A simple addition of a producing left fielder would make the difference in this lineup. Consider playing Diaz everyday.