Jeff Francoeur is the Royals’ second-highest paid player after landing a two-year, $13.5 million extension last summer, but when he showed up at camp, he found his locker and gear situated in with the minor leaguers.
As it turned out, Alex Gordon was to blame. Gordon, who had already made his way to Royals camp two weeks early, decided to rearrange the locker room to stick Francoeur in between Ryan Verdugo and Paulo Orlando.
“He got me good,” Francoeur told the Kansas City Star. “I’ll get even, but I’ll wait a little bit so he won’t be expecting things. It’s not over.”
Francoeur is back in the prime real estate with a double locker now. As for, Gordon, well, he better be careful or he might find himself in Edmonton next time he plans a getaway. We hear Francoeur is in good with Delta.
Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.
Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list
Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.
Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.
Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).
While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.