CHICAGO -- Frenchy is back in the big leagues.
The Padres on Wednesday added veteran Jeff Francoeur to the 25-man roster, selecting the contract of the 30-year-old outfielder from Triple-A El Paso. Francoeur started in right and batted fifth in Wednesday's game, the second of a three-game set against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
"I'm excited and looking forward to the opportunity," said Francoeur, who went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored in an 8-3 victory over the Cubs. "It makes you appreciate it a lot more. I'm very humbled by it."
The Padres made the move in light of Cameron Maybin's 25-game suspension for violating MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program after twice testing positive for Amphetamine, stemming from his attention deficit disorder.
Francoeur, who spent Spring Training with the Indians, was released by Cleveland during the final week of camp. He signed a Minor League deal with the Padres on March 25.
In 98 games with El Paso, Francoeur hit .294/.325/.465 with 15 home runs and 60 RBIs. Following a slow start in April (.196), he's hit .307 or better in each of the past three months.
Francouer cited an interesting recount for his recent resurgence.
"It's funny," Francouer said. "I got hit in the head with an 99-mile per hour fastball from Chris Dominguez. Ever since I've hit .360, .370. I say he knocked the stupid out of me."
Triple-A manager Pat Murphy informed Francouer of the move just after Tuesday night's 13-inning game, which forced Francouer to take a 6 a.m. flight Wednesday morning.
Francoeur has a .263 career batting average in parts of nine seasons in the big leagues with the Braves (2005-09), Mets ('09-10), Rangers ('10), Royals ('11-13) and Giants ('13).
"We're happy for Jeff," Black said. "Any time a guy with his Major League service time goes back to the Minors, that shows you something about his desire and dedication to play and keep a great attitude, which he had down in El Paso."
"I played eight and a half years and never thought about going back to the Minor Leagues," Francoeur said. "It's definitely a lot more special this time than the first time. I think the first time I took it for granted."
The Padres open a four-game series in Atlanta on Friday, which is where Francoeur made a name for himself. He won a Gold Glove Award with the Braves in 2007 and made the cover of Sports Illustrated in '05, when the magazine dubbed him "The Natural." Francoeur eclipsed the 100-RBI mark in '06 (103) and '07 (105) with the Braves.
"I get to stay in my own bed for four nights," said Francoeur, who grew up and still resides in the Atlanta suburbs. "It's really awesome. Don't think I haven't seen that on the schedule for the last month. It's just funny how things work out."
Daniel Kramer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.