Sunday, August 8, 2010
Jerry makes amends with Frenchy?
By Adam Rubin
Jeff Francoeur met with Jerry Manuel again on Sunday, this time for 15 minutes in the visiting manager's office at Citizens Bank Park. Francoeur suggested afterward he merely asked for opportunities during the upcoming week. And perhaps Francoeur had some persuasive powers. Afterward, Manuel suggested Fernando Martinez and Francoeur would not be involved in a straight platoon -- that Francoeur would face some right-handed pitchers, too, when matchups were favorable.
Manuel suggested that was not a deviation from what he said the previous day, although on Saturday the manager seemed to say it would be a straight lefty-righty platoon.
After Francoeur accounted for the lone run in a 1-0 victory over Philadelphia with a homer off left-hander Cole Hamels on Saturday, Manuel said he considered starting Francoeur on Sunday if he had a favorable history against Roy Halladay. However, Francoeur is 1-for-6 lifetime against the Phillies' ace, so Manuel did not use Francoeur.
Manuel doesn't seem sold on Martinez just yet. The 21-year-old outfielder hit .176 with one homer and eight RBIs in 91 at-bats last season with the Mets. The manager said Martinez needs to have better pitch-recognition skills than last season, when he swung at pitches out of the strike zone.
Manuel considered resting Carlos Beltran on Sunday, but the veteran center fielder wanted to play in the important game. Beltran is hitting .407 with one homer and seven RBIs in 27 career at-bats against Halladay.
As for the corner outfield alignment, Manuel said he thinks Pagan is a better right fielder than left fielder. Talking specifics, Manuel said Pagan appears better suited to pursuing balls on his glove side. Pagan also gets better reads in right field, according to the manager. While Martinez has played more right field than left field this season with Triple-A Buffalo, last year it was the opposite (23 games in left field, 14 in right field).