Frandsen Enjoyed Philly, But Ticked About Departure
Kevin Frandsen is in Philly for the first time since the Phillies outrighted him off the 40-man roster in late March, despite leading the National League with 14 pinch-hits last season and a .353 batting average and .920 OPS against left-handers the past two seasons.
The Phillies said at the time they needed roster flexibility with Freddy Galvis shelved because of MRSA. They felt they needed somebody who could backup Jimmy Rollins while Galvis is out. So Frandsen opted for free agency rather than accept an assignment to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and signed a one-year, $900,000 with the Nationals.
He is hitting .289 with two doubles, two RBIs and a .714 OPS in 43 plate appearances, which is noteworthy as Phillies third basemen have a combined .483 OPS, which is the worst mark in baseball.
Frandsen played 52 games at third base for the Phillies in 2012, but the front office didn’t like his glove.
Here is some of what Frandsen told reporters before tonight’s game at Citizens Bank Park:
Did their decision blindside you?
Fair to say, yeah. Blindside is a good way. I was like the ball boy on the sideline that got run over by someone.
Imagine it would have worked out so well for you?
No, but the way it went down, I know where I stand with the coaching staff over there and where I was with the other guys. I just felt more confident about myself than what they saw as far as the management side. It is what it is. I’m excited to be a National. I was excited and lucky to be a Phillie. That’s first and foremost. I got an opportunity to make it back up to the big leagues and play really well for them. But some things you really can’t control and I really didn’t control it obviously. It happened and I’m in a great spot. They’re playing some good baseball over there, too.
How angry were you?
I was pissed. I was pissed. Like I said, I knew where I stood with Ryno and Bo and all those guys and Hendu. But I was pissed. If they thought I was roster flexibility, that’s what they thought. But I didn’t think that of myself. I earned my way to being on the bench, to being a vital part over there. That’s what I thought and that’s the feeling I have and I’m going to go with it.
Were you hell bent that no matter what you weren’t coming back?
For the most part, yeah. It was tough, especially for how close I am with Ryno, how close I am with so many guys over there. It’s a class organization. It’s tough to leave your buddies. But to walk into a clubhouse like this with so much talent and eagerness to win and a great ballpark, it’s nice, too. One thing you do miss is the passionate fans over there that literally, even when I was in Lehigh, supported the hell out of me. I’ve been fortunate on that when it comes back to thinking about my time with the Phillies. It was a great time and it just ended very abruptly.
The Nationals called immediately, right?
A bunch of other teams did, too. A bunch of other teams said no way, no chance, it’s too late. It’s the end of the spring roster crunch and all that stuff. It was a leap of faith knowing my abilities and hoping that people would see it, especially what I’ve done against left-handers in the last couple years. It’s something they had talked about over here, how they needed stuff against left-handers and I always would just laugh and just be like, ‘I didn’t prove anything else against left-handers the last two years for you guys?’ Again, that was another thing that bothered me. But it is what it is. Like I said, you could sense I’m pissed about it, but at the same time I’m grateful for the opportunity at both places. I’ll always think fondly about what’s over there on the other side.