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03/27/2008 10:42 AM ET
Francisco Optioned to Buffalo
Outfielder returns after winning '07 batting title
Francisco was an All-Star in 2007 and the Bisons MVP in 2006.

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The Cleveland Indians today announced that they have optioned OF Ben Francisco to the Buffalo Bisons roster.

Francisco, 26, has had two very productive seasons with the Buffalo Bisons. Last year, he won the International League batting title with a .318 (120-377) average to go along with 12 home runs, 51RBI and 22 stolen bases. He was Buffalo's first league batting champions since Mark Ryal in 1990. Francisco also led the Herd in steals, on-base percentage (.382, 6th in IL) and slugging percentage (.492, 5th in IL) and was 2nd on the team in hits (120) and doubles (36). After the season, he was named an International League All-Star.

In 2006, Francisco was named the Bisons Co-Most Valuable Player (OF Jason Dubois) after finishing the season either 1st or 2nd in virtually every offensive category. That season, he hit .278 (143-515) with 17 home runs, 59RBI and 25 stolen bases. He led the team in games (134), runs scored (80, T4th in IL), hits (143, T2nd in IL), doubles (32, T5th in IL), extra-base hits (54) and stolen bases (25, T9th in IL). His 25-game hit streak that season was the second longest in the Bisons Modern Era.

Francisco, the Indians 5th round pick (154th overall) of the 2002 First-year Player Draft, hit .362 (17-47) with three home runs, nine RBI and a .617 slugging percentage in 16 games with Cleveland this spring.

The Bisons Home Opener is just 15 days away as they will host the Toledo Mud Hens on Friday, April 11 (6:05 p.m.) for a fridaynightbash!®. Individual game, season ticket and ticket packages are now available by calling THE-HERD (716-843-4373).

Indians Major League Roster Reductions
March 10
RHP Adam Miller (Optioned)
LHP Reid Santos (Optioned)
LHP Chuck Lofgren (Reassigned, Minor League Camp)
March 13
RHP Brian Slocum (Optioned)
LHP Tony Sipp (Optioned)
March 15
RHP Edward Mujica (Optioned)
C Wyatt Toregas (Optioned)
RHP Rick Bauer (Reassigned, Minor League Camp)
RHP JD Martin (Reassigned, Minor League Camp)
RHP Jeff Stevens (Reassigned, Minor League Camp)
C/INF Chris Giminez (Reassigned, Minor League Camp)
INF Jordan Brown (Reassigned, Minor League Camp)
INF Beau Mills (Reassigned, Minor League Camp)
OF Trevor Crowe (Reassigned, Minor League Camp)
March 20
OF Brad Snyder (Optioned)
RHP Jeff Harris (Reassigned, Minor League Camp)
RHP Matt Ginter (Reassigned, Minor League Camp)
LHP Rich Rundles (Reassigned, Minor League Camp)
C Armando Camacaro (Reassigned, Minor League Camp)
C David Wallace (Reassigned, Minor League Camp)
INF Danny Sandoval (Reassigned, Minor League Camp)
INF Aaron Herr (Reassigned, Minor League Camp)
March 24
LHP Jeremy Sowers (Optioned)
LHP Aaron Laffey (Optioned)
March 25
INF Josh Barfield (Optioned)
RHP Scott Elarton (Reassigned, Minor League Camp)
March 26
RHP Tom Mastny (Optioned)
March 27
OF Ben Francisco (Optioned)


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