May 15, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson (1) hits a RBI triple in the third inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Imminent Return of Jarrod Dyson

Jarrod Dyson is rehabbing in Omaha right now, and will soon be returning to the Royals.  It is likely that this means David Lough will be heading back to the farm since he was called up to replace Dyson.  This is problematic though, since Lough has proven that he belongs on this team.

The main reason for keeping Jeff Francoeur around would be to play him against left handed pitching.  Both Lough and Dyson are left handed and Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordonare playing every day.  That makes Frenchy the right handed bat of the other three outfield options.  This thinking only makes sense so far as Jeff can hit lefties.  Throughout his career he

Oct 1, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder David Lough (7) misses a fly ball against the Detroit Tigers in the sixth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

has done it to the tune of .288/.339/.437, but last year this skill disappeared.  He only hit .225/.307/.388 last year against lefties and this year has a little better average with no power .255/.296/.333, which is just not playable.  Jeff Francoeur is also a very slow outfielder who gets to nothing.  His only major league skill at this point is his right arm that can still throw with a lot of power and accuracy.

Lough, on the other hand, can do almost everything.  He will never be a star, but he plays very good defense, runs reasonably well, can hit, and has a little bit of pop.  Watch this video and this videoboth from the last week, and tell me you wouldn’t rather have him in the outfield than Frenchy.  Actually, I think he might be better out there than Dyson too.  If the Royals only played Gordon, Cain, Dyson, and Lough this outfield would be one of the best in the majors defensively day in and day out.  Then the only problem becomes one extra left handed bat in lieu of Francoeur’s when facing a left handed pitcher.

May 30, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur (21) sits on some quick dry bags during a rain delay against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Kansas City defeated St. Louis 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

There may be no platoon advantage in this case though.  Last year Lough did struggle against left handed pitching in triple-A posting a .229/.273/.403 line, but so far this year he is hitting .317/.404/.390 against same-sided competition in the minors. That is likely in part a function of a small sample, but remember that he only has to be equal to Francoeur’s lackluster .333 slugging percentage and has bettered it so far in the big leagues against lefties this year too, albeit in only 6 PAs.  If there is no platoon advantage, the better player should be on the team and that is David Lough both at the plate and in the field.

If Lough is kept, it means someone else has to go.  There are really only three options.  Send Chris Getz down and play Elliot Johnson every day at second base.  This won’t work because you would have no back up for second or short.  The second option is to send Mike Moustakas down and let Johnson and Miguel Tejada take care of third base.  That has some potential, but I don’t get the feeling that Moose is heading anywhere.  So, we come to the third option, waive Jeff Francoeur.  George Brett has said it already, it is time to grow up.  If you cannot play you should not have a spot on the team.  Frenchy is not a major league baseball player anymore.  He is still owed approximately $4.5 million, but it is in the team’s best interest to pay him the money without his hurting the team by playing too.  As a bonus it will show the young players how serious the front office is.  If you cannot play we have no space for you.


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Tags: David Lough Jarrod Dyson Jeff Francoeur Kansas City Royals

  • bs2362

    Brian, great post and analysis. Unfortunately if the Royals act true to form none of this will matter. Between Moore’s unexplainable infatuation with Francoeur and Yost’s textbook strategy management I am sure they will keep Francoeur as the “experienced hitter” to play against left handed pitching.

    If Moore does find it within him to DFA Frenchy then we will know that he is committed to doing what it takes to win, even if it means admitting a mistake.

    • Brian Henry

      I agree that past history does not make it seem likely.

      • jimfetterolf

        Yeah, they’ll never get rid of Yuni and Kyle Davies…

        • Michael Engel

          To be fair 1) eventually every team gets rid of every player and 2) you know the sentiment behind those statements, Jim. Dayton has a track record of waiting too long on getting rid of a player who’s obviously worn out his welcome and whose performance didn’t warrant sticking around. Yuni and Davies are great examples of that. Nearly everyone I talk to regularly saw the second Yuni disaster coming two minutes after they’d signed him. Davies was a year and a half late. Hochevar’s got a slim chance of being an actual salvage project but his starting days are over and this move should have been done a long time ago. Frenchy’s a new example. His pitch selection has never improved and he cashed in on a random good year for two years of an extension but sooner or later that bad habit of swinging at everything catches up to a player and he’s seeing the regression hit him in the face now. He was showing signs of losing athleticism early last year and this season he’s been pretty slow to nearly everything in the field when I’ve seen him. That’s just not a good player, and the history, as Brian points out, suggests that there’s a very good chance DM keeps him around despite all of those obvious flaws.

          • jimfetterolf

            Frenchy’s on his way out, as predicted over the winter when it was thought that he’ld get forty games to start, forty to platoon, then be released at the mid-point if he didn’t get his approach and swing back to 2011 levels. He’s failed, he’ll be gone, maybe as soon as Dyson’s return. Frenchy’s in his walk year, so three months difference at the most.

            History suggests Frenchy will be gone, probably not soon enough for some who have been on him since he was signed before ’11, but Lough has produced, unlike some other would be saviors at a weak position, so Frenchy is the odd man out.

          • Michael Engel

            I’m glad we can agree that Frenchy stinks.

            Still, their saying they’ll make those kinds of moves and their actually doing so are different stories. Until it happens, I’m not assuming anything.

          • Kevin Scobee

            I’m still worried they won’t DFA Francoeur. I wish I wasn’t.

  • ArrowFan

    Frenchy is worth a trade for a minor league prospect isn’t he?

    • Brian Henry

      Frenchy, at this point, is worth nothing even if the Royals eat all of the money on the contract.

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