I’ve always been of a mind that Juan Francisco was pretty heavily overrated by the Reds organization. I love his power, but Francisco has always seemed like Wily Mo Pena Lite.

The Reds organization has seemed to have a pretty high opinion of the big guy and, let’s be honest, they know more than I do. For the first time, however, there seems to be trouble in paradise:

It sounds as if the Reds are running out of patience with third baseman Juan Francisco.

Francisco (strained calf) made his spring debut Tuesday, flying out in a pinch-hit at-bat.

Obviously, he’s way behind. Too far to catch up?

“He’s got enough time,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “But he’s behind. Part of that is if he had rehabbed properly in the wintertime. Part of that is came into camp one of the few guys overweight.”

“The guys that came in ready, I can’t shelve them because he didn’t (come in ready).”

Francisco is 10 to 12 pounds overweight. It was mentioned that it is hard to lose weight when you can’t run.

“Then you got to stop eating,” Baker said.

I’d love to see this little rift open the door for Todd Frazier to make this team. Frazier could help this team in so many different ways; it just makes too much sense.

On the other hand, Francisco swings a left-handed bat, so he still has the inside edge, I’m guessing. The situation bears watching.

12 Responses

  1. Greg Dafler

    I agree with everything you wrote, Chad, except I’m guessing this opens the door for Willie Harris. Cairo and Valdez are the IF backups and Harris makes the team as 5th OFer and sole LH bench bat.

    He’s the only Reds player I have read about who did not come to camp ready to play. You’ve got to think this rubs the other players the wrong way, too.

  2. rightsaidred

    @Greg Dafler: Cairo, Valdez, Harris will be very discouraging to me if Frazier is languishing in AAA.

  3. TC

    Cairo and Valdez are both on the team and I’m happy for it. The 25th man is between Harris, Frazier, and Francisco. Frazier is out because he did not hit well last year and he has options. So really it is between Francisco who is out of options and Harris who signed a minor league contract. If you are hoping Harris beats Francisco out let me remind you in Harris’ 11 year career has a 80 OPS+ and according to his WAR the past two years is below replacement level.

    As much as Dusty might blow wind, Francisco will be on the opening day roster unless they find a way to put him on the DL (or trade him I guess).

  4. rfay00

    Sad to hear, Fransisco could have so much potential. To add on to the other comments, I think Cairo and Valdez will be on the bench for sure opening day and Frazier will be the 5th OF over Harris.

  5. Greg Dafler

    @rightsaidred: I’d rather see Frazier on this team, too, but I am guessing that the club won’t start the year w/o a LH bat on the bench.

    The only LH bats on the 40-man roster are Votto, Bruce, Francisco, Didi Gregorius, and switch-hitting Henry Rodriguez. Gregorius and Rodriguez have only played in 38 games and 69 games in AA, respectively, so they’ll likely be starting the year in either AA or AAA.

  6. Greg Dafler

    @TC: I’m not hoping Harris makes the team, nor suggesting that he should beat out Francisco. I’m only stating who I think that Jocketty/Baker will pick for Francisco’s roster spot if he is not on the opening day roster (for whatever reason.)

  7. CP

    I’m really not a fan of Doc’s recent article on Stubbs. The tone of that article, though in a way classic Doc, is just ridiculous. It’s an obvious attempt to stir up trouble with the traditional anti-strikeout crowd.

  8. Sultan of Swaff

    Pretty strong words for Dusty. I’ll bet they park Francisco on the DL unless he starts tearing it up.

  9. Redsfanx

    Because of his lack of good defensive skills, I’ve always thought of Francisco as designated hitter material in the A.L. Past time for Walt to include him in a trade.

  10. CP

    By all accounts, he’s made “tons” ( 😆 ) of strides in the field. Last season is hard to judge due to his limited playing time but he looked like he made “huge” improvements out there ( 😛 ).

    I don’t like the guy very much, but it’d be pretty ridiculous to get rid of him now. They’ve never actually given him an extended shot and the Reds obviously favor him over Frazier. Baseball fans, it is not time to trade a guy when he is at his lowest value.

  11. dn4192

    If a player can not show up to camp at least in shape weight wise then I see no reason to keep him around. This is not the type of player I want on my team.