The Padres’ latest call-up is more than just your typical minor-league prospect, and he might make things a little bit more interesting in the clubhouse.
Jeff Francoeur, 30, is expected to join the team in Chicago on Wednesday after his promotion from the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas. He takes the place of Cameron Maybin, who was suspended for 25 games on Tuesday for violating the league's drug policy.
The outfielder is a major league veteran, having played in parts of nine seasons with the Braves (2005-09), Mets ('09-10), Rangers ('10), Royals ('11-13) and Giants ('13).
The man they call Frenchy is also the victim of a couple of recent pranks that were recorded by his Chihuahuas teammates and include current Padres Carlos Quentin, Brooks Conrad and Kevin Quackenbush.
In the first one, the rest of the team convinces Francoeur that teammate Jorge Reyes is deaf – a ruse that went on for more than a month. That video has more than 1 million views on YouTube.
In the second video, posted recently, teammates lock Francoeur in the bathroom, forcing him to crawl through the ceiling in order to escape.
Needless to say, the addition should liven things up during an otherwise dismal season.
As for his on-field acumen, Francoeur has a .268 career batting average. He won a Gold Glove in 2007 while with Atlanta, also driving in more than 100 runs in both ’06 and ’07.
He hit .294 with 15 home runs and 60 RBIs for El Paso this season.
Francoeur was released by the Cleveland Indians before the start of the season and signed a minor-league deal with the Padres in March.