Phillies option Maikel Franco to Triple-A: How much longer until he’s gone?
The Phillies optioned Maikel Franco to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. How much longer until he’s out of the organization altogether?
In a move that was shocking yet also expected, the Phillies optioned third baseman Maikel Franco to Triple-A Sunday. In a corresponding move, Brad Miller was activated from the injured list.
Manager Gabe Kapler explained the move, stating that the team has an abundance of outfielders on the bench. On top of that, Franco’s lack of versatility and struggles against left-handed pitchers did not make him a good fit on a four-man bench.
Franco’s time as a Phillie has been tenuous at best. He started with a bang in his rookie season of 2015 but hasn’t been able to replicate that success since. He started hot this year but quickly fell off as he now has the second-lowest OPS of his career besides his extremely pitiful 2017 season.
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Once Franco’s numbers started to tail off, it became a matter of time before Franco’s time as a Phillie came to an end. Multiple reports indicated that the team was going to replace him around the trade deadline or in the offseason one way or another.
That replacement will be Scott Kingery as he will take over as the everyday third baseman. While his numbers have tapered off in recent weeks, he is still performing far better than Franco with a .270/.331/.491 line and 109 OPS+. That will allow Adam Haseley or Corey Dickerson to play more often in the outfield while keeping Kingery in the lineup.
Franco will likely return when the rosters expand in September, but that may be the last time he dons a Phillies uniform. Alec Bohm should be ready for the majors by next year, and Kingery can fill in until Bohm is prepared. That leaves Franco without a real spot.
If the Phillies don’t see Franco as a bench player, it’s unlikely he sticks around once Bohm. Franco could be gone when the offseason rolls around, ending his disappointing career as a Phillie.