Braves third baseman Juan Francisco left tonight’s game against the Mets in the third inning due to an ankle injury. Francisco appeared to turn his right ankle when he attempted to go back to second base on a pick-off attempt. He was out on the play.
Ramiro Pena took Francisco’s spot at third at the start of the fourth inning. Braves beat writer David O’Brien reports Francisco is day-to-day with a “mild” ankle sprain.
Francisco entered the night hitting .284 with four home runs in 70 plate appearances. He has been splitting time at third base with Chris Johnson.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.