General manager Dayton Moore said Wednesday that the Royals are always open to adding players, but at the moment, Jeff Francoeur will remain the teams right fielder in 2013.
By PETE GRATHOFF
The Kansas City Star
Last season was the worst of Francoeurs eight-year career when he hit .235 with 16 homers and 49 RBIs with an on-base percentage of just .287. Although he has 116 career outfield assists, Francoeurs defensive metrics were among the worst in baseball this year.
Jeff is not a dummy, manager Ned Yost said. He knew it was a rough year for him last year, and he knew he needed to bounce back. He worked diligently this winter for that to happen. Ive got a real good feeling hes going to come into spring training and put together a very productive year for us.
Moore pointed to Francoeurs 2011 season with the Royals as reason for optimism. That year, Francoeur had 20 homers and 87 RBIs.
I know Jeff Francoeur is a winner, Moore said. He couldnt be more excited for what were doing. ...
Its a team. Its not the most talented group of players thats going to win the World Series next year, its going to be the players who play the best as a team and respect each other and care for one other and are sold out for one other for 162 games.
The top four spots in the Royals rotation appear set, but Yost said he hasnt picked a fifth starter.
Well open it up, Yost said. Our goal is to put five guys out there that give us a chance to win every day. Weve got four of them right now with Wade, James, (Ervin) Santana, who we think is going to be tremendous, and Jeremy Guthrie.
And then in spring training, weve still got Hoch (Luke Hochevar), Bruce Chen, Will Smith. Were going to let them duke it out. Well put the guy we think gives us the opportunity to win every day.
• Moore couldnt put a timetable on when relief pitcher George Sherrill would be able to pitch. Sherrill, who signed a minor-league contract with the Royals on Tuesday, had Tommy John surgery in May after making just two appearances for Seattle.
• The Royals are hiring. According to an advertisement at teamworkonline.com, they are seeking a highly motivated and creative statistician/analyst to develop analytics for use in decision-making by the Baseball Operations department. Moore said its a new position as the team continues to build its analytics department.