Jeff Francoeur, the media really confused on his value

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“I had a great three months of the season, and it fell off for me and the team.”

Jeff Francoeur, talking to the Star-Telegram about how things went for him in New York this year.

I’m assuming you get your press credentials revoked if you immediately respond to comments like that by saying “But Jeff, your first half OPS was .695? You hit .211/.262/.274 in May! What part of that was ‘great?'”

Not that Francoeur is the only one confused about the quality of his tenure in Queens.  This morning Newsday’s David Lennon tweeted the following:

Bottom line: Francoeur helped change clubhouse climate for his brief period here. Mets needed it, thanked him by trade to contender.

Probably worth noting that a Mets player knocked his girlfriend’s dad the hell out in that clubhouse a couple of weeks ago, so Francoeur’s calming presence only goes so far. Probably also worth noting that Francoeur very publicly demanded more playing time recently, which is usually the kind of thing that gets labeled clubhouse cancers, not standup guys like Lennon portrays Frenchy. Of course, the rules have always been a bit different for him than other guys.

That aside, if Francoeuer truly was great in the clubhouse we now know unequivocally that being great in the clubhouse is utterly useless from a baseball perspective, because the Mets have gone in the toilet over the past couple of months, and no amount of charm and positive attitude from Francoeur was able to change it.

Athletics place Sean Manaea on disabled list with a left shoulder strain

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The Athletics placed left-hander Sean Manaea on the 10-day disabled list with a shoulder strain, according to a team announcement on Sunday. The move is retroactive to April 27, when Manaea was lifted from his last start after experiencing shoulder tightness. Manager Bob Melvin told reporters that he only expects Manea to miss one start during his stint on the DL, as the team is planning to utilize right-hander Sonny Gray in his place on Tuesday.

Manaea, 25, has yet to find his footing in his sophomore season with the Athletics. Over five starts, including his abbreviated outing against the Angels last Wednesday, the left-hander carries a 5.18 ERA, 3.28 FIP and 10.0 SO/9 through 24 1/3 innings. Even when healthy, control issues have spoiled some of his more dominant outings, doubling his walk rate per nine innings from the 2.2 BB/9 mark he posted during his rookie season in 2016.

With Manaea due back in the rotation by May 7, the A’s will eventually need to clear roster space to accommodate him. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle speculates that the decision could come down to right-handers Jesse Hahn and Jharel Cotton, though the team is still several days away from any formal announcement. Cotton has looked like two wildly different pitchers over his last five starts, tossing two-hit shutouts on his good days and getting shelled with 5-6 runs on his bad days. Hahn, meanwhile, has been a steadier presence in Oakland’s rotation, and his 2.08 ERA and eight-inning shutout should keep him in the majors a while longer, especially if he can replicate those results against the Astros on Sunday.

Noah Syndergaard refused an MRI for his sore biceps

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Mets’ right-hander Noah Syndergaard will take the hill on Sunday afternoon, just three days after he was scratched from a start due to right biceps tendinitis and shoulder discomfort. Syndergaard told reporters that he refused recommended medical testing on his arm because he felt “ready to go” after taking anti-inflammation medication and tossing a bullpen session on Friday. “I think I know my body best,” the right-hander said. “I’m pretty in tune with my body, and that’s exactly why I refused to take the MRI.”

It’s an unusual decision for a pitcher who has already succumbed to several serious arm issues, some as recent as last season, but as club GM Sandy Alderson told the New York Times’ James Wagner, the Mets aren’t in a position to force the issue.

This is a tense time for the Mets, whose lineup has been fraught with injuries of nearly every variety, from Yoenis Cespedes‘ hamstring issue to Steven Matz‘s elbow inflammation and David Wright‘s cervical disc herniation. Syndergaard’s setback last week didn’t appear too serious, but it would make sense for the team to take things slowly with their best still-healthy hurler. Instead, they’ll push forward on Sunday against the Nationals and hope that Syndergaard’s read on his biceps issue is an accurate one.

The 24-year-old righty is 1-1 through his first four starts of 2017 with a 1.73 ERA, 0.0 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 in 26 innings. He’s scheduled to make his first start against the Nationals on Sunday at 1:35 PM ET.