Francisco Is Ready to Go

ben francisco.jpg

I spoke with Ben Francisco the other day, and I think the first question I asked is how aware he is that Phillies fans are intensely focused on how the Phillies are replacing Jayson Werth in right field? If you could total every Phillies blog, message board, Internet story, newspaper story and time on sports talk radio devoted to the Phillies’ offseason, Cliff Lee would be the No. 1 topic and Werth and right field would be No. 2.

Nothing else would come close.

Check out the story here to see what Francisco and Ruben Amaro Jr. had to say.

I’ve said many times I’m not overly concerned about right field. I know Amaro has downplayed Werth’s production, but despite a one-year blip with runners in scoring position (it was a very big blip) Werth has been one of the most productive hitters on the team the past few seasons. But I think some combination of Francisco, Domonic Brown, Ross Gload and John Mayberry Jr. could work.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to think a Francisco/Brown platoon, for example, could hit 20 home runs with 80 RBIs. That could work, assuming the Phillies get bounce back seasons from their big-money men: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez and Shane Victorino. If Werth had returned and those five players had similar seasons like they had in 2010 (or worse) I don’t think it would matter much what Werth did in right field. The same goes without Werth. Howard Utley, Rollins, Ibanez and Victorino have to step up.

A few things about Francisco that didn’t make it into the story:

  • He got married in the offseason.
  • He is working out at Athletes Performance in Arizona, like many baseball players in the Phoenix area. He works out with Pat Burrell and others.
  • He informed Brad Lidge of the Lee signing via text message. Francisco and Lidge had played each other in fantasty football that week, and Francisco won. But Francisco’s team lost the next week — the week Aaron Rodgers suffered a concussion against the Lions. He said David Herndon won this year’s league. I’m guessing Herndon didn’t draft D’Angelo Williams in the first round like I did in my league.
  • Francisco said this offseason isn’t much different than years past in terms of preparation because he was an everyday player in Cleveland in 2008 and 2009 before being traded to Philly.


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I would love to see Mayberry turn into a player. He’s a solid defender but, sadly, he probably has too many holes in his swing.

Let’s put Mayberry in RF now. He’s a 6-6 RH bat that hit .400 this spring. Currently hitting over .400 in limited AB’s with one walk-off. There’s no upside to leaving Ibanez in now. Mayberry has earned his shot and we need his RH bat in the middle of the lineup.
If not now, should he have hit .600 to get his break??

CORRECTION: Of course I meant to say put Mayberry in LF.

Are the Phillies a better team with Lee but without Werth than they were last year with Werth but without Lee? I believe they are so the Phillies have some wiggle room in connection with filling the rightfield position

The Phillies are much much better than they were prior to the acquisition of Lee. ly does a Cy Young pitcher always trump a good right fielder, but Werth is being replaced by a rookie that should far surpass all of Werth’s numbers over time.

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