Everyone knew Carlos Beltran's return would mean someone in the outfield was going to get the short end of things.
On Thursday night it was Jeff Francoeur. Tonight it will be Angel Pagan. Why? Only Jerry Manuel knows the answer to that.
Before you start to rip Manuel, understand what he has to work with. Francoeur and Pagan's numbers against Barry Zito are nearly identical. Pagan is 2-for-5 with a homer and an RBI, while Francoeur is 2-for-5 with an RBI.
The lefty-right thing is also out, because Francoeur hits right and Pagan is a switch-hitter.
Francoeur (69 at bats) is hitting .348 with a homer, 10 RBIs and a .403 OBP against lefthanders. Francoeur Pagan against lefties? In 88 at bats, he's hitting .273 with 2 home runs and 8 RBIs. But his OBP is only .309.
Okay, Manuel may be splitting hairs, but he has to do something. Francoeur can't rot on the bench. But neither can Pagan, who is having the far better season.