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Jeff Francoeur is on the board!

May 13, 2012, 5:39 PM EDT

Alex Gordon, Jarrod Dyson, Jeff Francoeur Getty Images

And Robin Ventura still seems out of his element.

Jeff Francoeur finally hit his first homer Sunday, taking Nate Jones deep in the eighth inning as part of the Royals’ 9-1 win over the White Sox.

The homer came in his 124th at-bat of the season. Francoeur last year hit 20 homers in 601 at-bats.

Francoeur is also without a steal this season after finishing with 22 in 2011.

But that’s about all I have to write about Francoeur at the moment. Let’sdiscuss Robin Ventura’s decision-making with the White Sox down 3-1 in the ninth inning of the contest.

Rookie reliever Addison Reed entered today’s game with a .143 average against this season. However, after a walk and a double to open the ninth, Robin Ventura had Reed intentionally walk Jarrod Dyson to load the bases with no outs. And then, after a run-scoring wild pitch and a strikeout, Ventura had Reed issue another intentional walk, this one to Alex Gordon. Reed, still struggling with his control, went on to hit Billy Butler to force in a run and then gave up an RBI single to Francoeur before being pulled. He ended up being charged with six runs.

If you ask me, this is just another case of Ventura looking overmatched from the dugout. Reed hadn’t allowed a run all season and he appears well on his to establishing himself as one of the league’s top strikeout relievers, yet Ventura kept taking away his margin for error by loading the bases. Reed clearly wasn’t at his best today, so maybe he would have given up those runs regardless. Still, Ventura should have trusted his stuff: Reed was a much better bet to get out of the inning with strikeouts (of which he had 26 in 17 1/3 innings as a major leaguer) than he was with a double play (of which he had zero in 17 1/3 innings as a major leaguer).

  1. Ick McWang - May 14, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    I know this blog has a man crush/hate on Jeff Francoeur, and most times, I’m all about it, but in all honesty, this article would have been much better served being about Ventura’s management defiencies – from the title throughout, with maybe a side mention of Francoeur’s struggles rather than making said struggles the headline. Reading about Ventura’s crazy management choices was far better reading. Francoeur isn’t Albie Pujols.

  2. jlovenotjlo - May 14, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    If you were given an outstanding position at a company that you felt unprepared and inexperienced for, wouldn’t you read up and study your ass off for this job so that you could meet and exceed expectations of you?
    I keep repeating myself when I say this, but, Robin, please read a book on managing baseball successfully. Take an extra long time studying how to form a lineup with what you have in the dugout, as well as the importance of who is batting in the #2 spot. I’m begging you.

  3. Ick McWang - May 14, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    Ugh. I meant deficiencies, not defiencies or whatever goobledygook i typed.

  4. mcs7584 - May 14, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    It’s been a long time since any Royals manager has been accused of out-managing an opponent. Granted, it’s Robin Ventura, but still.

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