Francoeur sent down to find bat

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ATLANTA --- The Atlanta Braves decided their hometown favorite needed to get away from home -- and away from the major leagues -- to work his way through the worst slump of his career.

Francoeur  Associated Press
Associated Press
Francoeur

Outfielder Jeff Francoeur, hitting only .234, was sent to Double-A Mississippi on Friday and told he'd be recalled within three weeks. Braves general manager Frank Wren and manager Bobby Cox said the move is not a demotion.

"We look at it as stepping back for a few days and decompressing and getting his game going again," Wren said.

Francoeur was told of the decision after he was booed at home Thursday night when he went 0-for-4. He hit .206 in June and is 1-for-12 in three games this month. This year, he has eight homers and 41 RBI.

"We were very clear with him last night it would be for less than 20 days and that we just want him to get a chance to relax and play well," Wren said.

The move is designed to be temporary, but it is still a dramatic development for one of the team's top young stars.

Wren said he considered the move for three weeks as Francoeur's average continued to fall. Wren and other team officials concluded a move had to be made after the Braves were swept in a three-game series by the Phillies.

"This is my 32nd year in professional baseball," Wren said, "... and in the last 23 making decisions, this was the toughest."

Cox said Francoeur's high profile -- and long list of friends and relatives -- in Atlanta made it more difficult for him to shake the slump at home.

"We didn't know what to do," Cox said. "He had probably 150 tips the last two weeks on how to hit a baseball. ... It doesn't work."

In his first Double-A game, Francoeur went 2-for-3 with a walk and run scored.

GETTING BACK TO BASICS


Jeff Francoeur (above) broke into the majors in 2005 and took the National League by storm, hitting higher than .340 in his first 43 games. Francoeur was sent to Double-A Mississippi on Friday to work on his mechanics. Here's a look at Francoeur's numbers this season:


MONTH..........AB..........H..........HR..........RBI..........K..........AVG.

March/April..........110..........30..........3..........19..........9...........273


May..........110..........26..........3..........14..........27...........236


June..........102..........21..........2..........8..........23...........206


Source: sports.yahoo.com

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