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'Rejuvenated' Francoeur promoted by Giants

SAN DIEGO -- Jeff Francoeur couldn't stop smiling Saturday afternoon. And why not?

Francoeur, a nine-year veteran, was back in the big leagues, having had his contract purchased by the Giants four days after he signed a Minor League deal. His wife, Catie, will have labor induced Monday to give birth to the couple's first child, a girl. And Francoeur's playing for manager Bruce Bochy, who he compared to his first skipper, Bobby Cox -- known for being straightforward and fair with his players.

"I'm rejuvenated," said Francoeur, 29. "It's a good time in my life."

The right-handed-batting Francoeur won't initially occupy the everyday role with which he's familiar. Instead, he'll face opposing left-handed starters in a platoon. But Francoeur he knows that Bochy will give him chances to prove himself.

"If I hit, I'll play against some righties, too," Francoeur said. "But, that's up to me. That's something I have to take care of. I'm excited for the opportunity."

The Royals released Francoeur on July 5 after he hit .208 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in 59 games. That contrasted with his career average of .264. What happened?

"I don't know," said Francoeur, who spent his first 4 1/2 seasons with the Braves before migrating to the Mets, Rangers and Royals. "I think sometimes you can think too much. I do know that one thing I struggled with was I got off to a great start in April this year and May was just horrid."

Francoeur also mentioned that he admitted to Giants hitting coach Hensley Meulens that he sometimes tries to listen to too much advice simultaneously, which causes him to think too much.

"You know as well as I do in this game that you can't do that, or you're not going to have success," Francoeur said.

Chris Haft is a reporter for
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