Today, the Milwaukee Brewers got into shake-up mode, making a few roster moves in order to get more production from their lineup. Milwaukee sent roughed-up pitcher Mike Fiers to Triple-A Nashville, and released veteran infielder Alex Gonzalez.
But there’s no use dwelling on the past, at last not for now. So, in this installment of Better Know A Brewer we will discuss the new arrival of third baseman Juan Francisco.
Juan Francisco will be in uniform for the Milwaukee Brewers tonight, wearing number 21.
He was brought to the Brewers by way of the Atlanta Braves, who traded the third baseman to acquire left-handed minor league pitcher Thomas Keeling.
Francisco is a 25 year old Dominican native, and was signed by the Cincinnati Reds in 2004 where he made his debut in 2009. Since then, he has had limited playing time and limited success with both the Reds and the Braves, who acquired him in 2012.
Juan has a career line of .254/.299/.431 with 19 home runs and 77 RBI. He has extra-base potential in his bat, but a rising strikeout rate (37.4% in 115 plate appearances in 2013) and stagnant walk rate leave a little left to be desired from his plate appearances.
But on the plus side, Juan Francisco adds another lefty bat, and his BABIP is much, much higher than his average – currently sitting at .350 for 2013. So when he does make good contact on the ball, he can move men around the bases. The difficulty will be getting Francisco to be more disciplined at the plate.
The move for Francisco came at a time when the Milwaukee Brewers are obviously in search of more infield options, with Aramis Ramirez needing more rest at this point in his career, Rickie Weeks‘ continued struggles, and the persistent enigma that is Yuniesky Betancourt.
Will Juan Francisco be the answer to Milwaukee’s problems? No, but he will be a part of the solution, with any luck. He provides another infield option, some steady defense, and general new life to a team that needs a shake-up. We’ll hold our judgement and see if it pays off.