It’s no secret Jeff Francoeur has had his struggles at the plate. Last season he hit a dismal .235 and drove in 49 runs primarily from the 5th spot in the order. I can’t be the only who thinks we still need to search for answers in right field if this team seriously wants to contend. It’s hard to have many holes in your lineup and still try and win a division. It seems the Royals also share the same sentiment as well and could be actively trying to add some depth to their outfield.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Royals are looking for another outfield option who can start in place of Jeff Francoeur when the Royals face a tough right-handed pitcher. Rosenthal also mentions, if that outfielder can also play centerfield and be a backup option to Lorenzo Cain, then it makes it that much better of a move.
If no in house players will suffice, then there are some outfielders who could possibly fill the void of finding a left handed bat to face those tough righties. MLB Trade Rumors put together a list of players without options who have less than five years of service time. These players must clear waivers if their respective teams want to assign them to the minor leagues.
I wouldn’t mind if the Royals took a look at these left handed bats who could start in place of Frenchy when the team faces a dominant righty. We all know Frenchy has his struggles against righties, so it could really be beneficial for the team to look at some options if they don’t like anybody in house. Obviously, I’m thinking out loud and there is a very small percentage any of these players wind up in Kansas City, but I think it, at least, deserves some thought.
Matt Joyce is an intriguing name for me. The former All-Star has had his struggles recently, but as a platoon option he could be of some service. Against righties in 2012, he hit 33 of his 38 extra base hits and his average was 39 points higher.
Another left handed option could be Julio Borbon who has never really panned out the way Texas would have liked. The former Tennessee Volunteer teammate of Luke Hochevar could just need a new home for his major league career to flourish. Borbon is more of a speedster and right field isn’t the most conventional place for a left handed thrower, so he could end up in centerfield some games and Lorenzo Cain could then move to right.
Another interesting guy who is out of options is Pirates outfielder Travis Snider. Originally with the Blue Jays, Snider has had an up and down career to this point. This talented youngster could still be a superstar someday, and if he were to become available I would hope the Royals would at least glance in his direction. There is still a lot of pop in his bat, and in the right situation he could be another option if they wanted to look at adding some more depth to the outfield. The last name I want to drop is Mike Carp. Carp finally got a decent amount of playing time in 2011 and hit 12 home runs in 79 games. This left handed bat could be fun to watch in place of Frenchy when a tough arm like King Felix or Justin Verlander are on the mound.
In my honest opinion, I think we have the best option in our own backyard. I’m not the only one who thinks that as my fellow writer, Tony Botts, wrote a great article on why David Lough deserves a shot to start in right. I’m just hoping the Royals at least try to address the issue and don’t end up settling and it costing us a chance to compete for the division this year.