BY LESLIE MONTEIRO
Jeff Francis knew he was done when Roy Oswalt was tabbed on Tuesday to start the first game of a four-game set against the Nationals tonight.
That news took place before Francis took the mound against the Blue Jays. He certainly pitched like it when he allowed eight runs on 10 hits in six innings in the Rockies’ 8-3 loss to the Blue Jays Tuesday night at the Rogers Centre.
Even if he pitched great Tuesday night, his fate was sealed.
There was no way he was going to keep his job in the starting rotation when he was not winning any games, not to mention his ERA was 6.58 after Tuesday night’s performance.
Francis was designated for assignment yesterday afternoon, and he accepted it today.
Good for him that he accepted his assignment to Triple-A Colorado Springs. It speaks about his character that his ego was able to handle a demotion. Most proud starters would not do that.
Obviously, he knows if he wants to pitch for the Rockies or other Major League team, he has to get his work in the minors. It was a smart thing on his part.
One has to wonder if Francis can ever be a serviceable starter, though. He has not gotten it done this year.
Francis has pitched six innings three times this season, including Tuesday night. He was only good enough to pitch five innings only. That was not going to cut it for the Rockies.
Francis also had control problems as he was always behind the count often.
He gave up 11 runs and 43 hits in 11 starts. There was always one big inning for the other team when he faces them.
It became tough to watch after awhile, and that’s why he was sent down.
There was no point having him struggle on the mound while the Rockies were losing.
A change had to be made. The Rockies have been preaching accountability this season, and they have to back it up when a player was not doing his job. It was time for Francis to pay for his struggles.
The longtime Rockie will give it a go in the minors, but it remains to be seen if he is pitching for the Rockies ever.
He hasn’t been the same pitcher since he had shoulder surgery few years ago.
It’s hard to believe any team wants his service after his performance the last few months.
It’s a surprise Francis received a job from the Rockies last season. It showed how desperate they were to find someone who can pitch.
Sooner or later, this ride has to come to an end.
Nine seasons is a long time for him, and it’s hard to believe he will get better.
There’s no shame about it. Nothing lasts forever for professional athletes. When it’s time, it’s time.
Francis will always be remembered fondly for what he did with the Rockies. That’s what happens when a pitcher was part of the Rockies’ success during Rocktober in 2007.
For anyone that pitched for nine years, that is a good run.
Most starters don’t last long due to injuries and ineffectiveness. Francis persevered in his Major League career.
He may not have been the lights-out ace Rockies hoped for, but that does not mean he was a bust.
Francis was serviceable, and that should count for something considering starters don’t last long with the Rockies due to ineffectiveness.
Francis tried to latch on one more time. He wanted to make it work with the Rockies, and vice versa.
It never happened for him.
It was a good story while it lasted last year.
In professional sports, fairy tale endings are rare for athletes.
Francis knew this day was coming sooner or later.
Good for him for not giving up, though. That should count for something.
The Rockies are doing him a favor in letting him figuring it out at Colorado Springs. It’s commendable since he would be released by other organizations for being a lost cause.
Still, it is going to get to the point where it’s a lost cause.
Francis and the Rockies are going to have to part ways. Odds are that’s going to happen sooner or later.
There’s no getting around it.
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