So we are now a quarter of the way through the baseball season and much to everyone’s surprise, the New York Yankees sit atop the American League East. Many of the pieces that general manager Brian Cashman has put together have worked out better than anyone could have expected. One of Cashman’s flyers that hasn’t panned out is outfielder Ben Francisco.
The Yankees were hoping that Francisco would be a right-handed power threat that would platoon with Travis Hafner at the designated hitter spot. Well, to be honest, things couldn’t be going much worse. On Friday Francisco collected another 0-4 outing, with a strikeout, bringing his average down to .114. If this were the beginning of the season, I would say he might work himself out of this funk, but it isn’t early in the season anymore. The time has come to either send Francisco down to the minors or just cut him altogether; either option is fine with me. There just has to be a better option in the minors or outside of the organization.
There is something else that has me scratching my head about this whole situation and that is the way Francisco has been used. On Friday, the Toronto Blue Jays sent lefty Mark Buehrle to the mound so manager Joe Girardi wanted to sit Curtis Granderson, because he struggles against lefties, and that meant Francisco would play. I get all that, but what I don’t understand is why is he batting fifth in the order behind Vernon Wells. With this lineup, Wells gets no protection and the opposition can basically pitch around one of the Yankees’ hottest hitters.
Here’s hoping that when I go to the Yankees’ page at MLB.com tomorrow morning, I see that Francisco is no longer on the roster, but I’m worried I’m just as likely to see him batting clean up in Saturday’s game. Why he has lasted this long, I just don’t know. Can someone out there explain it to me?