Francis really struggled Tuesday against the Blue Jays. Image: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Has The Jeff Francis Era Come To An End?

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It is important to remember that we have gone through this before. It’s like the super-couple from your high school that breaks up for college and gets back together during their first summer back home. That second break-up still stings, but both parties know it’s not nearly as painful or dramatic that second time around. Things were never going to be the same, after all.

When Jeff Francis returned to the Colorado Rockies last season we knew it had the chance to be short-lived. The attachment to him as a minor league retread would never be as strong as it was to the staff ace who helped the team to its first and only World Series appearance. He was a fringe, back of the rotation guy at best, and even with some success in 2012 we knew that this stint with the franchise was likely going to brief.

Sure enough the Denver Post’s Troy Renck reports that Francis’s locker was cleaned out on Wednesday. It seems clear at this point that Francis will lose his spot in favor of Roy Oswalt, who will make his much-anticipated Rockies debut on Thursday against the Washington Nationals. Even with Nicasio’s struggles, it makes the most sense to move Francis off the roster. The Rockies know his ceiling, whereas Nicasio still has some developing to do (not to mention the fact that he throws 95 mph).

There does remain a possibility that Francis would accept an assignment with the AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Due to his service time that will be up to him. It might be wise for Francis to consider it, because one imagines that it will be difficult for him and his 6+ ERA to catch on with another Major League team. But until that time we have to assume we have seen the last of Francis in a Rockies uniform.

I love Jeff Francis because he loves the Colorado Rockies. That makes it difficult to say goodbye, but it is also the only reason left to keep him around at this point. The harsh reality is that he has little to offer anymore to any team that hopes to contend. Last year the Rockies did not have that hope. This year they do, and that’s why Francis is likely on his way out, for good this time.

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