Jeff Francoeur: Andy Pettitte-killer

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As we sit around and wait for the game to start — really, besides the Eric Wedge thing, it’s all waiting right now — let’s look at the oddest stat you’ll see today: Jeff Francoeur: career OPS 0f 1.144 against Andy Pettitte.

That courtesy of Jamey Newberg. Granted, it’s only 11 plate appearances, but I didn’t think Frenchie could get even that in a small sample side against a guy like Pettitte, even if he is a lefty.

In other news, I think this appreciation of Jeff Francoeuer may be unironic. Which is frankly scary. Warning: lots of “F-words” there.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.