Royals Designate Francoeur; Recall Giavotella


Glory days! According to the Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton, via twitter, the Kansas City Royals designated the much maligned Jeff Francoeur for assignment on Saturday after the Royals’ 6-2 loss to the Twins in Minnesota. Kansas City recalled Johnny Giavotella.

Jun 16, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur (21) is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after he scored a run during the fifth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.The Kansas City Royals defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Dayton Moore signed Francoeur to a 1-year deal in 2011. Francoeur turned around and produced one of the best seasons of his career and Moore rewarded him with an ill-advised 2-year, $13.5 million deal before the 2012 season. Frenchy returned to is underachieving ways at the plate, and despite his cannon arm and his sunny disposition, incurred fans’ wrath for his continued lack of discipline and production at the plate.

This season, Francoeur has been especially awful, hitting just .209/.250/.324/.574 with 3 home runs and 13 RBI in 182  at bats. He only walked 8 times. He has played so poorly, he has been benched, platooning with David Lough of late.

According to Dutton, Johnny Giavotella is being brought up to be the every day second baseman. He has been batting a solid, if not unspectacular, .289/.376/.425/.801 in 287 at bats for the Storm Chasers. He had 7 home runs and 38 RBI for AAA Omaha. He has walked 41 times and only struck out 47 times.

Giavotella, 25, has had limited chances for the Royals in 2011 and 2012 but he has not matched his minor league performances. In his time in the majors, Gio has a poor slash line – .242/271/.341/.611. His strong sense of the strike zone in the minors has not translated as of yet for the Royals. In 359 at bats, he walked just 14 times and he has struck out 67 times.

Giavotella has never been known for his glove, so the Royals may slip a little defensively, but they can still sub Elliot Johnson in at the end of close games.

While there is little doubt Francoeur was a great guy to have around the clubhouse, and was probably very popular with his teammates, the Royals just could not afford to carry him on the roster any longer. In fact, this move is long, long overdue. The Royals were very reluctant to remove either Francoeur or Chris Getz from the roster but have finally removed both this week.

If the Royals hope to have any chance of making up games in the AL Central, these moves had to be made. Royals fans should have a great sense of relief, however belatedly, now that these roster moves have been finally carried out. Let’s hope that Giavotello can at least match his AAA numbers this time, and that Lough and Jarrod Dyson can produce in the outfield.