Ever since Lyle Overbay and Mark Reynolds were told they were on the team’s 25-man roster, Juan Francisco’s removal from the roster was expected. The club made the move official Monday, requesting waivers on the 26-year-old for the purpose of his unconditional release.
Francisco hit .346 with three home runs and six RBI this spring, but the Brewers opted to keep the two veteran options. Acquired from Atlanta last June, Francisco hit .221 with 13 home runs, 32 RBI and 95 strikeouts in 240 at-bats with the Brewers in 2013.
New to first base last season, Francisco struggled defensively, making 10 errors in 67 games. Overbay’s defensive ability undoubtedly played a major role in the Brewers keeping him over Francisco.
"Juan, he has improved. We all saw it," Roenicke said Sunday. "I don’t want to downplay what Juan did here because Juan did everything he could to help himself make this team. But the skill set, we feel, of the other two really fits better with what we’re trying to accomplish."
Francisco will likely be scooped up by an American League team that could utilize him as a designated hitter. He has big power but has struggled to make consistent contact. The Brewers likely tried to swing a trade with another team to no avail before opting to release Francisco.
Milwaukee now has 29 players remaining in camp but only really has decisions to make in the bullpen.