ATLANTA (AP) - Hoping that slumping Atlanta Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur can find the swing that made him one of last year's leading sluggers, the club has optioned him to the Double-A Mississippi Braves.
Francoeur heard boos as he went 0-for-4 Thursday night to drop his average to .234 with 8 homers and 41 RBIs. He hit only .206 in June and is 1-for-12 in three games this month.
In his last 18 games, he has hit just .121 with a .183 on-base percentage and .136 slugging percentage.
Last year, Francoeur hit .293 with 19 HRs and 105 runs batted in.
Braves manager Bobby Cox had envisioned a lineup with him in the middle of Chipper Jones, Mark Teixeira, and Brian McCann, but he was dropped down to 7th in the batting order.
Francouer will begin playing with Mississippi on Friday night. All expectations are that he'll remain with that club until after the All-Star break.
Earlier this season, Francoeur admitted that he wasn't enjoying the game as much as he had in his three previous seasons. Francoeur's on-base pct. for the season is just .287.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)