The dreaded evil that is the DL has snatched up another fatality, as the Toronto Blue Jays recently placed Adam Lind on the 15-day DL with lower back issues. Lind is undoubtedly a vital cog in the Jays’ quest to get back to AL supremacy, and not only has an opportunity opened up to fill his shoes, but another important role must now be claimed.
Enter Juan Francisco, who will seemingly take over the first base/DH duties with the possibility of giving Brett Lawrie a day off at the hot corner. The power-first, hitting-for-average second free-swinger is one who has squandered such chances before. Over the course of his six-year career with the Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers, Francisco has worn out his welcome at each stop.
His burgeoning power (18 homers in 385 plate appearances across 2013) has always created buzz, but in the end it’s been the frustrating swings and misses (an undignified 138 Ks in those same trips to the plate) that have led to his pink slips. Any player deserves credit when attempting to reinvent themselves; at 26 years of age, time is on Francisco’s side. The Blue Jays just might become the beneficiaries of when the light switch officially turns on.
If his time with the Buffalo Bisons is any indication, the slugger is chomping at the bit to start his major league career over. Over 44 at-bats, he has a prodigious line of .341/.420/.568. Prorating stats is a dangerous flirt, but one has to be encouraged with his mere nine strikeouts thus far.
Francisco has already endeared himself to the city of Toronto by displaying patience at the plate and impressive defensive capabilities. If his past stays buried, it could only be a matter of time before Francisco stays in the majors for good.