Franco Optioned to Minors
The Phillies today announced that they have optioned three players who have seen significant action this spring to their minor league complex, including their most advanced prospect, 3rd baseman Maikel Franco.
With an outside shot to steal the starting 3rd base job here in Clearwater, the 22-year old Franco underwhelmed for the most part. He hit just .200 (6-30) with no extra-base hits, and just one walk and rbi.
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Franco will now move to minor league camp and prepare for the 2015 season, which is likely to start for him at AAA-Lehigh Valley. There he will get to face advanced pitching, play every day, and get his game together for a likely callup to the big club at some point later in the spring or during the summer.
Franco entered spring training in a battle with incumbent 3rd baseman Cody Asche for the longterm starting job at the Phillies hot corner. Asche homered last night against the Yankees, and has done nothing to lose his job. More importantly, perhaps, Franco did nothing to force the Phils to move up his arbitration clock.
Franco had an outstanding season in winter ball following a mildly disappointing 2014 campaign. He did get to make his MLB debut last year, hitting just .179 with 1 rbi in 58 plate appearances during the month of September.
Also reassigned by the Phils were pitchers Joely Rodriguez, the 23-year old who came over from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Antonio Bastardo deal, and 25-year old Nefi Ogando. Both pitched generally well this spring, and are likely to join Franco at AAA as they prepare for possible callups to help the pitching staff later in the season.