Friday, 8 July 2011

Toronto Blue Jays - Frank Francisco. Is his future in jeopardy?

Lately, anywhere Blue Jays fans are interacting with one another it is becoming increasingly obvious that most Jays fans HATE Frank Francisco. And with last nights epic meltdown in the 9th against the Indians the FF hate has only multiplied. In fact it is becoming quite ridiculous with a group of fans actually suggesting we let McCoy pitch before Frank Francisco ever pitches again. Over the last week we have seen Jason Nix and Juan Rivera, two major fan headaches, designated for assignment. And this naturally begs the question is our incumbent closer next in line.

So far this season, Frank Francisco has an ERA of 4.81 coming out of the pen. Let me repeat that 4.81. Now it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that is bad but lets delve deeper into his stats. He has 10 saves this year compared to 4 blown saves so basically for out of every 3 games we entrust with him to win with the lead he will lose 1 of those. Simply not good enough.  Now I can sit here and keep writing about his horrible stats this year like his 1.85 WHIP, (which for you non fanatics means walks and hits per innings pitched), .380 BABIP, (Batting average on balls in play) or his ATROCIOUS -0.1 WAR (Wins above replacement) but I am not going to. Instead I'm going to answer the question people seem to be asking. Should we get rid of Frank Francisco? I am going to say no. He has gotten off to a rough start but if you watch him while he is on like that Boston game than you know what he is capable of, especially with that nasty splitter. My solution is give him time. Give him time to adjust to the AL East because this season is a season for finding our identity. It is a season where we are evaluating our talent and making plans for our future and considering he is basically an added bonus in the Vernon Wells trade it cannot hurt to give this man a chance. Am I confident he'll be the closer that we have longed for. I do not think so. Remember that 2:1 save vs blown save stat? Well that is also his career mark. 42 saves against 21 blown saves. However I believe he can be a very good bullpen arm for the next 3-5 years if he can get out of his current funk. If I was John Farrell I would have Frasor as my closer and Frank Francisco as my 8th inning guy, because that's what I view him as in the future. A guy to come in and bridge the gap between our starter and our closer whoever that may be. And if he does not work out, oh well we are not competing this year and all he cost is a little bit of salary. You ask me the reward is well worth the risk. So overreacting Jays fans remember when you said Jose Bautista was a waste of a spot in the line-up? Don't jump to conclusions.

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