The omission of Kevin Frandsen from the starting lineup last week created a minor uproar among fans. How can Charlie Manuel take his white, hot bat out of the lineup in favor of grizzled, oft-injured and aging Placido Polanco?
Whatever the reason, it didn’t last long. Manuel used him as a pinch-hitter and Frandsen delivered with a base hit.
Frandsen, 30, is hitting a robust .351 since being called up July 27. His OPS is an outstanding .827 and he made one of the best defensive plays of the season, ranging to his left at third and throwing a strike to catcher Erik Kratz, to keep the Reds off the board.
There is one issue. Frandsen, with 87 at-bats, has a very small sample set.
Is Frandsen, who spent time with San Francisco, an overlooked gem or fool’s gold? Which is a perfect way to describe outfielder John Mayberry Jr. There is only one way to tell if Frandsen is for real. Let him play.
“All I want is a chance,” Frandsen said. “This is the first opportunity I’ve had to play everyday in the major leagues. It would be interesting to see what I can do up here. In the minors, I’m a career .310 hitter. I think I can make an impact and help this team win.”
It helps that Manuel gives the gritty Frandsen the thumbs up.
“He’s a good ballplayer,” Manuel said. “I like what he brings to the field. He has earned the right to be out there.”
So Frandsen apparently is going to see considerable time in the field. He knows that such opportunites are elusive. He watched his good friend and former Giant teammate Nate Schierholtz break a toe a few weeks ago, which cost him a chance to impress Manuel for a 2013 job.
“It’s too bad for Nate,” Frandsen said. “It’s a rough break. You have to make the most of these opportunities. Who knows how many opportunities you’ll get? I’m going to make the most of whatever opportunities I get here.”