On the contrary, we would be happy if Franklin were performing as he did pre-2003, because he was effective then. The reason for pessimism about Franklin in the off-season was not because he had a career year in 2003, but because his so-called "peripherals" (Ks, HRs, Strikeouts, BB as opposed to ERA or W/L record) were bad in 2003. The thought was that Franklin's low ERA was masking his declining effectiveness, that he wasn't good, but lucky, in 2003, and that the luck was more than likely to run out.
|RYAN FRANKLIN STATS|
Besides the low ERA, 2003 wasn't a particularly good year for Franklin. The problem this year is that 1) he's given up more walks per 9 innings than he ever has since he's been a regular major-leaguer and 2) he's giving up a lot more hits, too. The hits allowed probably have a lot to do with a worsened outfield defense, but the walks are all on Ryan.
So my response to Steve is: Yes, Franklin is struggling this year, both because of his own apparent control problems and because of our outfield defensive sieve. But we didn't expect this because of his pre-2003 numbers.