The Milwaukee Brewers are hoping that first baseman Juan Francisco can make the proper changes at the plate by playing winter ball in the upcoming offseason.
The reason the Brewers would like to see Francisco play winter ball is because Milwaukee will potentially need him next season. In fact, there is a good chance he could become the starting first baseman, especially if Corey Hart and Mat Gamel are not on the team in 2014. However, the only way Francisco wins the starting job is if he proves he is capable of being productive at the plate on a consistent basis.
The 26-year-old has not collected a hit in eight straight games. Granted, he has only seen one at-bat in seven of those eight games, but nonetheless, it is disappointing. What is even worse than the hitless streak is the fact that he is batting .137 with 27 strikeouts in his last 51 at-bats.
The Brewers have some great ideas of how Francisco can be more successful on offense. However, manager Ron Roenicke has struggled on how to go about it considering Francisco’s future with the team is up in the air.
“It’s very difficult to ask a guy who comes over to you in a season to say, ‘Hey, this is what you need to do,’” Roenicke said, according to Brewers.com. “Because he is trying to make an impression on us, he wants, obviously, a job with us next year — a starting job if it can be. And to make him change and all of a sudden he doesn’t perform well and then you don’t keep him, that gets a little difficult.”
Francisco’s best bet is to hear Milwaukee out and use the information to his advantage while he is playing in the Dominican Winter League. That way, it shows the organization he is willing to adjust and improve his game to help the team next year.