Royals release Jeff Francoeur

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As expected no teams wanted anything to do with the $3 million or so remaining on Jeff Francoeur’s contract, so he passed through waivers unclaimed and has been released by the Royals.

That means Francoeur is now a free agent and able to sign with any team for whatever money and role he can get. My guess is that he’ll land another major-league contract, but it’ll be close to the minimum salary for a part-time gig.

For all his faults when pressed into everyday action–he’s been putrid while hitting .228 with a .642 OPS in 207 games since the beginning of last season–Francoeur remains a potentially useful platoon corner outfielder versus left-handed pitching. And of course everyone within baseball loves him, so landing with a contender shouldn’t shock anyone.

Gio González exits NLCS Game 4 start after twisting ankle

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Brewers starter Gio González was forced to exit his NLCS Game 4 start against the Dodgers in the second inning after twisting his left ankle attempting to field a comebacker hit by Yasiel Puig. González leaped, deflected the ball and twisted his ankle landing, then went after the ball but Puig reached base easily.

The Brewers’ trainer and manager Craig Counsell came out to the mound to observe González throwing some practice pitches. He was clearly in pain but was allowed to stay in. He threw one pitch to Austin Barnes and very visibly grimaced after completing his wind-up. Counsell came back out to the mound and took a visibly upset González out of the game. Freddy Peralta came in relief to finish out the at-bat. González probably shouldn’t have been allowed to stay in the game in the first place, but sometimes a player’s competitiveness is enough to convince a manager and a trainer.

Upon entering, Peralta issued a walk to Austin Barnes, then got the first out when Rich Hill laid down a mediocre bunt, allowing Peralta to get the lead runner at third base. Peralta struck out Chris Taylor and walked Justin Turner to load the bases with two outs. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts opted to pinch-hit for David Freese with Max Muncy, who struck out looking. Peralta was somehow able to slither out of the jam.

Gonzalez pitched two innings in NLCS Game 1 on Friday. He was quite good after joining the Brewers in a late-August trade with the Nationals, compiling a 2.13 regular season ERA in five starts with his new club. The Brewers will likely provide an update on his status after Tuesday night’s game.