Royals designate Jeff Francoeur for assignment

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The Royals have designated outfielder Jeff Francoeur for assignment, reports Bob Dutton on Twitter. The veteran wasn’t producing at all, carrying a .574 OPS into today’s game against the Twins. He struck out in his only plate appearance of the day, pinch-hitting for Jarrod Dyson.

Francoeur is only 29 years old, but has followed up a season in which he posted negative 2.3 WAR with negative 0.8 through his team’s first 78 games. The Royals promoted Johnny Giavotella from Triple-A Omaha to take Francoeur’s place on the roster.

Francoeur hasn’t been as terrible in previous years and has a great reputation around baseball as a good clubhouse guy, so it wouldn’t be surprising if a couple teams expressed interest. Even using him in a platoon role is out of the question, though, as he has barely hit lefties better than righties over the last two seasons.

José Ureña drills Ronald Acuña, Marlins’ and Braves’ benches clear

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Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña has been on a tear lately, homering in five consecutive games and in seven of his last eight. His last three games, all against the Marlins, have featured a leadoff home run.

Understandably, Marlins starter José Ureña was not eager to face Acuña leading off Wednesday night’s game. However, Ureña got around facing Acuña by drilling him in the left elbow with a first-pitch, 97.5 MPH fastball. The benches emptied. No punches were thrown, but there was a lot of yelling.

Braves manager Brian Snitker was thrown out after yelling at the umpires because Ureña was not immediately ejected. The umpires conferred and later decided to eject him before play resumed. They then issued warnings to both teams.

Ureña will almost certainly be fined and suspended by Major League Baseball. And he should be.