Over the last week, I have made it quite apparent that I am not a fan of the Jason Michaels experience. Even worse was the game a few nights back that saw Michaels play along with typical platoon-peer David Dellucci.
Jamey Carroll got the starting nod at second base last night, meaning that the two-hole was up for grabs given Asdrubal Cabrera’s night off. Michaels stepped into his old role and promptly went 0-for-5 with a strikeout – leaving five men on base.
For the season, Michaels is batting .056 (1-for-19). His partner-in-crime Dellucci has yet to collect a hit in his seven at-bats. All of which followed a dismal spring training. Given all of this, thinking here is that it won’t be long before the 2007 Class AAA International League batting champ in Ben Francisco gets a phone call. He really couldn’t be a downgrade at this point, so why not?
Yes, I know the season is only a week old. But odds are that the Tribe sent Francisco back to the minors because he has an option left. Dellucci, likely the one to be given the axe in the event of a call-up, still has two years and $8 million left on his contract. Yes, $8 million. As in dollars.
Francisco is only 26-years old, and is coming off of a AAA campaign that saw him club at a .318 clip and rack up 22 stolen bases. Terry Pluto did an excellent breakdown earlier this spring, discussing his splits in the lefty-righty terms:
He’s a right-handed batter who hits righties better than lefties. In his past three minor-league seasons, he’s hit .322, .274 and .322 against righties. Against lefties, it’s been .299, .296 and .274. He can fit into any platoon, unlike the players in front of him.
The fact that his “weak” side has brought averages near a consistent .300 speaks volumes. I realize that this wouldn’t translate exactly to the next level, but it is surely better than the .267 that Michaels hit in nearly 500 at-bats last season.
Currently, Francisco isn’t exactly lighting it up for the 3-2 Buffalo Bisons, batting .211 over five games. However, one has to wonder how long Mark Shapiro will continue to rest on the Michaels-Dellucci tag-team while the talented righty beats up on the weaker competition.