francoeur getty

Jeff Francoeur’s eyes are in the best shape of his life

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According to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, free agent Jeff Francouer recently had LASIK surgery and has decided to go to a lighter bat in an attempt to salvage his career.

The soon-to-be 30-year-old Francoeur finished last season out of the league after being let go by the Giants in late August. On the heels of a rough 2012, he hit a combined .204/.238/.298 in 245 at-bats for the Royals and Giants.

Francoeur has long used one of the game’s biggest bats, but he’s going to try changing that up next season. According to Rosenthal, he and Baltimore’s Chris Davis were the only players in the league to use 35-ounce bats last season. A lighter bat might allow him to start his swing a bit later, giving him more time to realize that he might not want to flail at the 59-foot curveballs and heaters above his head.

Francoeur has hit .263/.306/.419 with 140 homers in nine big-league seasons. He’s probably going to have to accept a minor league contract with a chance to compete for a bench job next spring.

Matt Harrison is in The Best Shape Of His Life

Kansas City Royals v Texas Rangers
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We’re still three months from spring training, but after missing nearly all of this year following multiple back surgeries Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison is getting a head start on the annual Best Shape Of His Life rush:

Via Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas:

Harrison said he’s down to 240 pounds, a weight that he’d like to stay at for spring training. Thanks mainly to medication, Harrison said he ballooned up to 270 pounds at one point. He said his playing weight is normally around 250, but doesn’t want to pitch at that weight anymore.  “It would help with everything to take a little stress off the back and make it easier to run,” Harrison said.

6-foot-4 and 240 pounds is still a big boy, but hopefully this helps Harrison stay healthy and resume being one of the league’s best lefties in 2014.

Mike Pelfrey is in The Best Shape of His Life … but I’m not sure how

Mike Pelfrey
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Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reports that Mike Pelfrey, who is on the comeback trail from Tommy John surgery, is down to 240 pounds from a previous 270, and that he’s doing it based on a lot of cardio. Imagine, then, what he’d be doing if he didn’t eat like this the night before he pitched:

Dinner the night before had been fried chicken strips with gravy from a Dairy Queen drive-thru … “I don’t really eat the best,” he said. “I think I find myself every night in Fort Myers going to eat something fried.”

After a night game Wednesday, March 13, Pelfrey tried to head out for a pasta dinner but was deterred by the long line. So he went down the road to DQ.

Get that: the healthy option — the one he planned — was dinner at what was either an Olive Garden or a Carraba’s. It was when only deterred by the hordes at the door that he rocked the DQ.

But you know what? Given portion sizes and how much butter and stuff those places use, I bet he was better off eating at DQ. Unless he was wise and got a big Blizzard because oh my god I love Blizzards.

Joe Blanton is in The Best Shape of His Life

Joe Blanton
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When I was in Angels’ camp in Tempe a week ago Friday, I didn’t see Joe Blanton. I guess now we know why:

When Joe Blanton takes the mound for the first time in Angel Stadium with his new team, fans who have been oblivious to his career since he left the Phils may be a little surprised. Blanton, who signed with the Halos as a free agent in December, is about 30 pounds lighter than his normal 260.

He says he didn’t try to lose weight. “It just happened.” Tapeworms: is there no end to the good they can do?

(via Baseball Musings)

Alberto Callaspo is NOT in The Best Shape of His Life

Alberto Callaspo Getty
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For every 100 players who report to spring training in The Best Shape Of His Life one guy has to show up in sweatpants with Cheetos stains on them (or the equivalent). That’s the rule and Alberto Callaspo of the Angels was merely following it:

Callaspo is listed at 5-foot-9 and 200 pounds, so that must be a helluva diet if he showed up to spring training 20 pounds heavy and has already lost most of it.