{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Long man Francis gives A's 'pen, starting depth

|
Long man Francis gives A's 'pen, starting depth play video for Long man Francis gives A's 'pen, starting depth

ST. PETERSBURG -- With newly acquired Jeff Francis now in tow, the A's have a true long man back in their bullpen, along with additional starting depth.

The club was missing both following Drew Pomeranz's move to the rotation, before claiming Francis off waivers from the Reds on Sunday.

He joined the A's at Tropicana Field on Tuesday for the start of a three-game set with the Rays.

"What I communicated to him [is that] what his role will be for us right now is length," said manager Bob Melvin. "We'll try to keep him stretched out to where he's potential added starting depth, which we're a little thin on. [General manager] Billy [Beane] is always looking to be incrementally better, and this is where we fell a little bit short, with length and another starter, so he fits in well.

"It's nice to have a guy who's pitched in different roles before and knows how to do it."

Francis started just one game for Cincinnati this season before being designated for assignment. In Triple-A Louisville, he was 4-3 with a 3.33 ERA in eight starts and said, "I feel like I've been sharp."

The 33-year-old southpaw split his time between Colorado's bullpen and rotation in 2013, marking the first time in his career he'd pitched as a reliever for an extended period. He struggled in both roles, pitching to a 6.27 ERA and 1.61 WHIP in 70 1/3 innings.

Melvin recalls a different version of Francis from his managerial days in Arizona, when Francis enjoyed much success in the Rockies' rotation, even finishing ninth in Cy Young voting in 2007. He also spoke to Reds manager and good friend Bryan Price, who relayed, "He's a great team guy and will do whatever you ask him to do."

"I'm ready to do whatever it is they need," confirmed Francis. "I don't throw quite as hard as maybe I did as a 23-year-old, but I still do mostly the same things. As a left-hander, just try to keep hitters guessing, not be too predictable."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español