Francis ready for opportunity in KC
Jeff Francis is looking forward to getting back to his old self – the lefty is now nearly 23 months removed from shoulder surgery that sidelined him for the 2009 season. He says his shoulder feels fine and that he is approaching 2011 like any other season.
Francis, who won 17 games with a Colorado club that reached the World Series in 2007, is ready to prove that he can get batters out (or “oot”, as the native of British Columbia says).
He will be reunited with Bob McClure. The current Kansas City pitching coach mentored Francis at Triple-A Colorado Springs in 2004. McClure described Francis as a hurler who knows how to pitch, keep the ball down and hit spots. Francis is comfortable working with McClure, whom he believes had a similar approach to pitching.
Francis was one of the youngest players on the Rockies throughout his early years with the club. Now, though he just turned 30, he will be the third-oldest player on Kansas City’s spring training roster. He has heard good things about the developing talent that the Royals have and sees an organization that is on a path similar as the Rockies of five or six years ago.