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Cardinals release former closer Ryan Franklin

Jun 29, 2011, 4:51 PM EDT


Tony La Russa and the Cardinals did whatever they could to keep Ryan Franklin around despite the former closer’s struggles this season, using him in the lowest of low-leverage situations and often avoiding bringing him into home games so the St. Louis crowd couldn’t shower him with boos.

Last night’s ugly outing was apparently the final straw, however, as Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the Cardinals have released Franklin.

During his first four Cardinals seasons Franklin saved 83 games with a 3.04 ERA while allowing just 262 hits in 285 innings. This season he was 1-for-5 converting saves with an 8.46 ERA and .367 opponents’ batting average, serving up a remarkable nine home runs in just 27 innings.

Franklin allowed 11 runs in his final six appearances and at age 38 will almost surely have to settle for a minor-league deal if he wants to continue pitching.

  1. spudchukar - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    PL, that is 2 down and 2 to go.

    • paperlions - Jun 29, 2011 at 6:05 PM

      Yep, making progress. I was hoping Franklin would turn it around and that they were seeing something positive in his side sessions…but last night just looked like batting practice….again.

      Unfortunately, the bullpen still sucks….I have some confidence in Boggs, but losing Sanchez really hurts the depth….I think they just need to leave Cleto in the minors for some seasoning, he looks like he could turn into a decent starter, at least, based on his performance in the minors this year….he’s still young.

  2. drmonkeyarmy - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    I remember years before the Cards turned him into a closer, the Phillies wanted to do the same thing, because he was a terrible starter for them….better than Eaton but who wasn’t. Anyway, this clown wanted nothing to do with it. He just looks like a dumbass frat boy wannabe.

    • nixonotis - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:08 PM

      How does one become a “frat boy wannabe?” It seems like one of those things you are or you aren’t.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:10 PM

        You are correct sir. There is no middle ground on that subject. You are or you aren’t.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:20 PM

      You know what…I was wrong in my post. The Phillies did make him a reliever…he wasn’t happy about it, however. My mistake….sorry for calling him a clown. He still looks like a frat boy wannabe though.

      • hittfamily - Jun 29, 2011 at 6:05 PM

        I had a similiar beard when I was 18 because the only hair that would grow was on my chin. I soon discovered I looked like a d bag though. This poor dude is 40 years old still rockin the “Seniors Rule” look. I wonder if he writes “Class of 2012” on the back window of his 95 civic. I feel bad for his family.

      • xmatt0926x - Jun 29, 2011 at 9:36 PM

        No Monkey, you are totally on point. I remember when Franklin did that when he played for the Phils and he was a total jagoff. He was a nobody who should have counted his lucky stars that he was even in the big leagues and he was just too good to try closing in his mind. Meanwhile he was brutal as a starter and didn’t convert to closer until Daddy LaRussa told him to try it.

  3. cptnew1 - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    Yes, Franklin has been atrocious this year. Sometimes guys just lose it. That being said, his time in St. Louis was mostly positive. This from

    “In 2009-2010 Franklin converted 90.3 percent of his save opportunities, which was the 7th-best save rate over the two seasons. Franklin had a better save percentage in 2009-2010 than Brian Wilson, Francisco Cordero, Jonathan Papelbon, Billy Wagner, Jonathan Broxton, Jose Valverde, Houston Street and Andrew Bailey.”

    That’s pretty impressive in my view, and I wish him well.

  4. deathmonkey41 - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    This should make for many happy posters on the St. Louis Post Dispatch board this week.

  5. pastortodd78 - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    Is the guy having a horrible year this year? Yes, by far! But we should never stoop to the level of taking cheap shots at the guy. He lives just east of the OKC metro area and from everything I have heard is a great guy. He goes to the church my parents used to attend and his daughter and my niece were in the same kindergarten class. So to take shots at his character is very very low.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:59 PM

      Nobody is saying he is a bad guy. I am just saying he looks like a frat boy wannabe and that he wasn’t happy when the Phillies changed his role. The first comment is a matter of physical perception and I stand by that. You can feel free to disagree and that is cool. You are entitled to that opinion. However, at no point did I slander his name or accuse him of being a somehow evil guy. Chase Utley looks like an angry, stuck up jerk and he is one of my favorite players. The second is a statement of fact.

      • okwhitefalcon - Jun 29, 2011 at 6:40 PM

        Last night just amplified the obvious.

        Not sure how they’re going to fill the roster spot, no word yet that I know of. Let’s hope they go a different direction than Cleto, the kids got potential but he’s not near ready for the big leagues as shown by his 2 previous outings.

        Bautista now Franklin, who’s next on the bullpen hit list?

    • hittfamily - Jun 29, 2011 at 6:56 PM

      Does the church your parents used to attend have a mirror in its bathroom. If they do, this buffoon has never bothered to look in it. He needs to grab a razor and some holy water and shave those curlies off his chin. Or at least trim it. The dang thing is 3 inches wider on the left than the right.

      • theolgoaler - Jun 29, 2011 at 7:42 PM

        Franklin did shave his beard… the “billygoat” look began after Franklin had performed a pre-season promo with young bullpenners Chris Perez (now with the Indians) and Jason Motte. The promo showed the three pitchers from behind, with Franklin telling the “young’uns” “You want to pitch like Bruce Sutter, ya gotta be like Bruce Sutter.” The next shot showed all three pitchers wearing obviously-fake long, black beards (looking more like Brian Wilson than Bruce Sutter, actually). Franklin made the All-Star team letting his beard grow; he trimmed it this year, when he couldn’t get anybody out.

  6. okwhitefalcon - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:54 AM

    Nice to see the Cards bewildered bullpen get a rest tonight courtesy of Chris Carpenter. God knows they needed it.

    Couldn’t help but laugh about the announcers going bonkers on his pitch count with his next start being Monday against the Reds, I suspect he’ll be ejected nine batters in after he drills Reds probable starter Johnny Queto….

  7. cptnew1 - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:26 AM

    @ hittfamily. Way to be a grown up.

  8. hank10 - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:41 AM

    This cannot be correct. Booing in “Baseball Heaven”? The place where the “best” baseball fans of all-time reside? What in the name of Scott Rolen is going on here?

    • grizz2202 - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:36 PM

      Baseball Heaven doesn’t tolerate a closer with the stats listed above. And when said closer bashes the fans for having the stats listed above (as he did in April), it turns into Baseball Hell for him.

      We’re not the “nicest” fans in baseball, we’re the best. If you play well, you get cheers. If you play poorly, you get cheers. If you play poorly for an extended period, and you’re not hurt, and you malign the fans, damn right you’re gonna get the crap booed out of you.

  9. cintiphil - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    Well, this is bad news for the Central division and the Reds. TLR has finally woken up and let Franklin go fishing. As long as he was on the bench, we had a chance to face him in the ninth and a good chance to pull one out! Now we won’t have that opportunity.

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