Jeff Francis was a spring NRI for the Reds, and has been toiling in Louisville all year. Toiling fairly successfully, however, at least if you avoid the W-L record: 3-6 with a 3.72 ERA and 65 strikeouts to 18 walks in 77 innings. He threw a shutout yesterday. But now he’s just out, as the Reds released him.
It was at his request, however, as he had an opt-out provision dated June 1. Given that there isn’t any room in the rotation for him in Cincinnati, and given that he just finished on a high note, one can’t blame him. And you have to figure he’ll latch on someplace.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.