Indians cut Jeff Francoeur

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Jeff Francoeur signed a minor league deal with the Indians over the winter in hopes of earning a spot on the Opening Day roster, but Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that he was cut from the team this morning.

Francoeur was actually pretty productive during Cactus League play, hitting 286/.359/.429 with one home run, two doubles, 10 RBI and a 6/4 K/BB ratio over 39 plate appearances. However, it wasn’t enough to secure a spot on Cleveland’s bench.

Francoeur turned 30 in January and owns an ugly .226/.272/.354 batting line since the start of the 2012 season. As well-liked as he is in the game, he might have to prove himself in the minors to get his next opportunity in the big leagues.

Brewers’ and Dodgers’ benches empty after Manny Machado and Jesús Aguilar get into it

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The Brewers and Dodgers haven’t had much action in Game 4 of the NLCS, bringing a 1-1 game through 10 innings and about four and a half hours. We finally got something to get the blood pumping, though, when Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado and Brewers first baseman Jesús Aguilar exchanged some words with each other, prompting both teams’ benches to spill onto the field.

With one out, Machado grounded a 3-1, 95 MPH fastball to shortstop Orlando Arcia, who made an easy throw to first base to complete the out. Machado, running the play out, dragged his left leg, slamming it into Aguilar’s leg as he crossed the bag, causing himself to stumble momentarily. Machado went back and jawed at Aguilar like it was his fault.

Machado has not had the best press in the NLCS. He failed to run out a grounder in Game 2, then made a couple of slides in Game 3 that attempted to interfere with Arcia at the second base bag. He was called for interference on the second one. Machado hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt for his actions tonight.

It’s difficult to imagine Machado’s behavior during the NLCS will affect his windfall as a free agent this offseason, but he’s proving to be somewhat of a distraction for a team trying to get back to the World Series. And that’s not good.