Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Buh Buh Buh Benny and the Slumps

Now that sweet Dave Dellucci is gone, and Casey Blake is knocking out solo homers in LA with the Dodgers, it is about time to rename this blog. For the past weeks, we here at Dump Casey Blake/Dump David Delucci have commented on the lame at-bats and feeble plate attempts by the Wahoos opening day left fielder. Ben Francisco is no longer a rookie. He is no longer a 24 year old wet-behind-the-ears young ball player. He spent parts of seven years in the minors and now we are seeing why. Benny is a decent player, and probably a quality fourth outfielder on a contending team, but he should not be playing every day. At 5 for his last 47 and 8 hits in his last 61 at-bats, we here at the Blog of Grind turn our attention away from the Artie Lange/Joe Buck controversy and focus on a new mission-- to "Bench Ben Francisco".

There is no way that Benny should be playing day in and day out. If Eric "Julian Grindel" Wedge can sit Jhonny Peralta for days at a time, why not Ben Francisco? The caveat here is that Grady Sizemore is hurt, so Francisco is his backup in center. I say "So What"? Francisco has not driven a ball to right-center in weeks. He is hitting .131 in June with 13 strikeouts in 14 games and 3 RBI. Ben has 2 extra base-hits in June. His last home run he struck that was not given up by Andy Sonnanstine of the Rays was back on April 28th against Boston. April 28th!!! For some reason, Francisco carves up Sonnanstine. If only there were more arms like his in the AL Central.

Francisco was a bright light in a dark 2008 season. He was given an opportunity to play a lot after the Dellucci/J-Mike platoon was rightfully blown up and he did very well. Francisco can hit a "get-me-over" fastball and it showed last year when he knocked 15 home runs in 121 games. But at second glance, Benny's numbers were not all that earth shattering. He slumped in September and finished at .266 with 54 RBI for the season. Tribe brass hoped that this year, at age 27, he would be a young and cheap everyday player who can hit, run, and bring energy. He is none of that.

Even clueless ESPN analyst Steve Phillips remarked on Monday night that Francisco is spaghetti in the batter's box. He doesn't draw walks, opens up his front side, and mostly lifts weak pop-ups to left and center. How many rallies did this dude kill last night against the Brewers? Enough is enough.

Our solution here at the now renamed "Bench Ben Francisco" is to bench Ben Francisco. The RWAB is still in this race (as laughable as that is) and they are playing better ball as of late. Francisco needs to play against some lefties and pinch-hit. Period. I don't see him as an every day player and once Grady comes back, Francisco has to be the odd man out. Play Mark DeRosa in left and Peralta at third and call it a day. If DeRosa is traded, I want to see Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley before I see Benny every day. For now, Wedge can play Jamey Carroll in center field some, and Trevor Crowe. We all know that T-Crowe cannot hit either, but at least he battles in his at-bats!

Sorry Benny. We did like your appearance, though, last year on the Jim Rome show.


1 comment:

T said...

good choice!!! Benny is being exposed. All you have to do is throw him a breaking pitch, and he is meat.