The problem isn’t the ugly strikeout, but the fact that he doesn’t seem to recognize that he has a problem. Here is his second inning plate appearance, which was preceded by a four-pitch walk to Brian McCann.
Notice the pattern? VandenHurk, who was called up from the minors to start the game, had no problem picking up Francoeur’s weakness for for high cheese in this at-bat and exploiting it during their next confrontation.
On Saturday, Francoeur commented on his progress owards ending his slump.
“With my first home game back, I think I was trying to do too much,” the 24-year-old said after the 7-6 victory. “But I feel good. My swing is back where I want it. I’ll be OK.”
This has gone far enough. Francoeur may have had some bad luck this season, but right now his poor performance is the product of a flawed approach. The kid obviously has serious problems that he refuses to acknowledge. I’m not sure what Frank Wren’s options are, but, at the minimum, Francoeur needs to be removed from his everyday starting role. He’s not going to right himself when he doesn’t believe there is a problem.