Saturday, February 6, 2016

For Kevin Frandsen, a modicum of comfort

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Kevin Frandsen refuses to call it a revival. He says it is best to ignore the facts. He mustered 228 major-league plate appearances over four seasons, turned 30, and entered 2012 on uncertain terms with an organization that barely knew him.

For Kevin Frandsen, a modicum of comfort

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Philadelphia Phillies´ Kevin Frandsen dives for a ball during a workout at baseball spring training on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, in Clearwater, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia Phillies' Kevin Frandsen dives for a ball during a workout at baseball spring training on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, in Clearwater, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Kevin Frandsen refuses to call it a revival. He says it is best to ignore the facts. He mustered 228 major-league plate appearances over four seasons, turned 30, and entered 2012 on uncertain terms with an organization that barely knew him.

Utility infielders are kindred spirits, and Frandsen gravitated toward Pete Orr. They often talk about the chance, a moment that usually arrives at the least expected time.

"I always knew I could play," Frandsen said. "There was never a doubt. People sometimes made me out to be arrogant. It's not that. I just know my ability. I can play the game. I'm not a superstar. I'm someone who loves the game and plays the game the right way. I'll always be grateful for that opportunity."

That opportunity was 55 games, 49 of which were starts, and 210 plate appearances with the 2012 Phillies. Frandsen hit .338 with an .834 OPS. He endeared himself to this front office, which rewarded Frandsen with an $850,000 contract and an all-but-guaranteed roster spot in 2013.

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Frandsen has no options remaining, which means he must pass through waivers to reach the minors. It's unlikely the Phillies attempt that.

In the early part of spring, Frandsen has taken most of his infield work at second base, which is his natural position. He made all of his starts in 2012 at third base.

It has been six years since Frandsen opened a season on a major-league roster. That was 2007 when he was a 25-year-old reserve middle infielder for San Francisco and had his whole career ahead of him. Then, the next spring, he ruptured his Achilles tendon.

His successful stint in Philadelphia last season served as validation, but vindication would come from a full season spent in the majors. His 55 games were impressive. There is always more to prove.

Frandsen said he is most excited that he has a place in the Phillies clubhouse.

"I'm not too comfortable," Frandsen said. "But people know who I am. They know my name. They know what I can do. That helps out. Last year, I was an unknown. I did everything I did in Lehigh the year before but it doesn't matter because they hadn't seen me do it.

"I'm comfortable with knowing the people. With the game? Never. You're always working."


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