Not just because he has led the Rangers to a big division lead, but because he has made it clear that he understands what wins baseball games and who, exactly, is in charge:
Francoeur, a 2002 first-round pick of the Atlanta Braves, hit .237 with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs in 124 games this season with the Mets.
“We got him here to face lefties,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “I’ll put him out there when we face lefties.” Washington said if Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz are healthy they would definitely be in the outfield every day.
How hard was that? And if Francoeur will get onboard with being a platoon player — which he wouldn’t do in New York — and adjust his offseason salary expectations accordingly, he may find himself playing major league baseball for a few more years.
The Blue Jays placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list with a contusion in his right index finger, per a team announcement on Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to Friday. In a corresponding move, righty Marcus Stroman was activated from the DL (right shoulder fatigue) and will take the mound for the Blue Jays at 9:07 PM ET tonight.
Sanchez, 25, is in his fifth season with the club. He hasn’t looked his sharpest so far this year, going 3-5 in 15 starts with a career-worst 4.52 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 through 79 2/3 innings. It’s not yet clear how long he’ll be sidelined, though he could miss as little as one turn in the rotation before returning to the roster in the next week or two.
Sanchez isn’t the only struggling starter in Toronto’s rotation, either. Per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, the team placed southpaw Jaime Garcia on the DL (right shoulder tenderness) as well, with lefty reliever Tim Mayza scheduled to take his spot on the roster. In 13 starts this season, Garcia carried a 2-6 record, 6.16 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 61 1/3 innings. Any further decisions pertaining to the rotation — including Tuesday’s starter against the Astros — have yet to be publicly addressed.