Sports Out West

Jeff Francoeur comeback: Ex-outfielder begins return as pitcher with Padres

Kansas City Royals  v Tampa Bay Rays

After a nine-year major league career as a position player, former outfielder Jeff Francoeur is beginning a comeback attempt with the San Diego Padres’ organization. 

On Friday, the veteran posted four shutout outings before surrendering a three-run home run in the fifth inning on Friday night for the Friars’ Triple-A affiliate El Paso Chihuahuas. 

The transition makes sense since during his days roaming the outfield, the veteran was known for having a cannon for an arm. On the mound, he’s had to learn how to control his natural athleticism, which helped him reach 119 outfield assists and rank second among active players. 

One of the reasons he made the transition was his struggle to find consistency at the plate. After joining the San Francisco Giants in July, he finished with a .194 average with zero home runs and four RBIs in 22 games. 

He won a Gold Glove award in 2007 for his exploits in the field and has always been a sometimes-reckless swinger of the bat. He did, however, hit the first home run in Chihuahuas history on April 3, 2014. 

The Padres could have a spot open long-term for a pitcher given the news that ace Andrew Cashner is scheduled for an MRI on Monday. 

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Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.