The Jeff Francoeur campaign is progressing nicely

Associated Press

I saw this coming while I was at the paddock before the second race, outside the men’s room when I placed my bet. I saw this coming before it even got up this morning.

It’s the inevitable “you know, Jeff Francoeur is the best fit for the Braves team” campaign from the Atlanta media. Complete with the brushing aside of a player who is a better fit as a backup outfielder than Francoeur (Emilio Bonifacio, who can play center field) and a guy making $15 million in Nick Swisher, who the writer says could simply be cut, no-muss, no-fuss. And maybe it happens, I don’t know. Emilio Bonifacio is not someone you build plans around. Swisher’s money is a sunk cost.

But I do know that, whatever the circumstances, it was a 100% certainty — a bet-the-lives-of-your-children mortal lock — that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution people were going to start launching “Francoeur is turning heads” or “Francoeur will make the team” stories come mid-March. I don’t know if it’s club sources or the paper driving it or some combination of both, but there was never going to be a world in which Jeff Francoeur was not going to be portrayed as some sort of inevitability to make the team.

Now, where is my wallet? For the second straight spring I’m going to have to buy a Jeff Francoeur shirsey.

Yankees clear 3 roster spots, could activate Stanton, Donaldson, Kahnle on Friday

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — Giancarlo Stanton, Josh Donaldson and Tommy Kahnle appear set to rejoin the New York Yankees ahead of their series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

New York cleared three roster spots, saying that infielder-outfielders Oswaldo Cabrera and Franchy Cordero had been optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre along with left-hander Matt Krook after a 1-0 loss at Seattle.

Stanton, Donaldson and Kahnle all played in a rehab game for Double-A Somerset. Stanton was hitless in three at-bats in his first appearance since injuring his left hamstring on April 15.

Donaldson went 1 for 4 in his fourth rehab game as he comes back from a strained right hamstring originally sustained on April 5.

Kahnle pitched one inning, giving up one run and one hit and walking two. He has been out since spring training with right biceps tendinitis.

Boone said he wasn’t concerned about Stanton potentially returning after playing in just one rehab game. He did say that Stanton likely will be a designated hitter for a couple of weeks after rejoining the Yankees.