07/29/09 10:09 PM ET
Phils get it right with Francisco
Long search for bat off the bench ends as part of Lee trade
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Remember Nomar Garciaparra and Gary Sheffield in Spring Training?
The Phillies also fell short in recent weeks in their pursuits for Mark DeRosa and Scott Hairston. But they finally got the bat they needed Wednesday when they acquired outfielder Ben Francisco as part of the Cliff Lee trade with the Indians.
"Mixed emotions," Francisco said in Anaheim, where the Indians played the Angels. "I'm excited to go to a team that's in first place. I'm surprised. I woke up this morning not even thinking about it. I got to the field and obviously heard everything. It's definitely a shock, but I'm excited to go to a team that is the defending champion."
Francisco is hitting .250 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs this season. He can play all three outfield positions.
"I feel really good," Francisco said. "I feel more comfortable than I have in a long time at the plate. I've had a really good last few weeks here. I feel I'm right where I need to be as I head over there."
Francisco, who will wear No. 10, is expected to join the team Thursday in San Francisco. The Phillies likely will option outfielder John Mayberry Jr. to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make room for Francisco on the roster. Mayberry entered Wednesday hitting .189 with four homers and eight RBIs.
"He's got power at the plate. He likes to pull the ball," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Francisco. "I think he's got a big upside. He can get better. That improves our bench. He's been playing, so he should be sharp."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.