Posts Tagged ‘Maikel Franco’

Following The 40: Off-season Primer

October 12th, 2015 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Following The 40: Off-season Primer | Filed in Baseball, General, MLB, Phillies


As the Phillies off-season begins, the first order of business was to pair down the roster to 40 players including ones that would be coming off of injured status. Earlier last week, the Phillies outrighted Justin De Fratus (who recently elected free agency), Jonathan Pettibone, Adam Loewen, Ken Roberts, Erik Kratz, Jordan Danks, and Chase d’Arnaud. The roster currently stands at forty, but with a strong likelihood that Cliff Lee, Chad Billingsley, Aaron Harang, Jerome Williams, Brian Bogusevic, Jeff Francoeur, and Andres Blanco all head to free agency.

Francoeur and Blanco are expected to be asked to return, but will both certainly be given offers with other clubs. Domonic Brown may have seen his last inning as a Phillie as he has a very strong chance of being non-tendered a contract. Jesse Biddle and David Buchanan are both likely to be outrighted in the near future due to their respective injury statuses. That sets the Phillies at 30 players.

Whoever the next General Manager may be, while they have the resources, there probably won’t be any huge splashes for 2016. In fact, the Phillies acquisitions will most likely be role players and players coming off of injury looking to establish value. The rotation will most likely consist of Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Adam Morgan as pitchers three thru five with Alec Asher and Severino Gonzalez given opportunities.

Matt Harrison, whom the Phillies acquired at the trade deadline in the Cole Hamels deal, could also be an option if he is healthy enough to compete. The Phillies could also add from within with Zach Eflin and Ben Lively as potential candidates. My personal targets for the Phillies to add from free agency: Mat Latos or Doug Fister.


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Deconstructing The Phillies: Corner Infield

October 25th, 2014 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Deconstructing The Phillies: Corner Infield | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

Next up in the series is the corner infield positions. What should the Phillies do at the hot corner? Can the Phillies do anything with Ryan Howard? There’s definitely depth at the major league level, but who is the right man for the job? I’m still playing GM and keeping a running tally of the moves and roster spots being taken both in my vision and my counterpart’s. If you’re even remotely intrigued and/or agree with my overhaul, click past the jump to see where I’m going this week. (more…)

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Fall Ball Notes

September 1st, 2014 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Fall Ball Notes | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

This week, the Phillies announced some winter league roster moves. Phillies that will be represented in the Arizona Fall League include pitchers Colton Murray, Ryan O’Sullivan, Nefi Ogando, Ethan Stewart, catcher Logan Moore, and center fielder Roman Quinn, who is slated to get significant playing time. The Phillies have one more roster spot open to them should they wish to use it. Phillies representatives will be playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions this year.

Third base prospect Maikel Franco is currently slated to play in the Dominican Winter League again.

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September Call: Maikel Franco

August 28th, 2014 by Mike H. | Comments Off on September Call: Maikel Franco | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies


On September 1st, major league rosters will expand from 25 active players to 40. Many fans and media members have been clamoring for Maikel Franco to be called up once AAA Lehigh Valley’s season is completed. The Phillies have not been as committal to a promotion, stating consistent playing time is a big factor. While Franco’s 2013 season and the second half of his 2014 season have given fans hope, it may make sense to wait until next June to call him up.

First off, Franco did struggle considerably the first month of the season. The adjustment period versus the available playing time at the big league level could potentially be even worse than the adjustment to AAA pitching. Not that I think it will affect him negatively to come up. I just think if you’re going to bring him up, make sure he plays.

More so, I want him to have a break. Franco played in Reading up until the beginning of September last year. He then proceeded to play from mid-October to late-December in the Dominican Winter League. Then after a few short weeks, Franco was back at it in Spring Training. Basically, Franco has been doing nothing but baseball for at least 70 of the last 78 weeks.

For as much as I want this team to turn the page, there’s no unselfish reason that justifies seeing Franco in red pinstripes. Whether Franco plays or not the last few weeks, it won’t prove anything positively or negatively. The sample size just won’t be significant enough.

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Explaining Cody Asche’s struggles this season

April 30th, 2014 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Explaining Cody Asche’s struggles this season | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

(Kim Johnson Flodin/AP)

The Phillies’ young, 23-year-old third baseman Cody Asche has seen his fair share of struggles thus far this season, and the learning curve for him appears to be in full effect going forward.

Asche’s in his second season with the team after being promoted from AAA Lehigh last July, on the 30th. Cody put forth a solid effort with Lehigh last year, eventually earning himself a spot on the IL team (Class AAA International League) in the Triple-A All-Star Game. Prior to his promotion to the Major League level, he was batting a solid .295, with 15 home runs and 68 RBIs to boot. He would go on to be named the team’s Player of the Month for the month of July. The Phillies’ upper management decided to call him up in order to give him an extended look at playing third base, particularly to compare him to fellow third baseman Maikel Franco, the latter of which is currently with Lehigh; filling in for Asche. 

Even if Franco ends up becoming a star; all while overshadowing and making Philadelphia fans forget about Asche; if the latter doesn’t succeed in his Major League career, Asche is a piece that could remain in the organization nonetheless. This of course depends upon his willingness to be liberal; in trying new approaches at the plate, field, or within a new position on the field, given it comes down to that.

The team doesn’t have as much depth in positional spots like they did a few years ago when they had a successful blend of young stars and veterans yearning for a championship ring.

Asche somehow won a spot on the team out of Spring Training this past season over Franco, despite only hitting a meager .170 in Spring Training. In Spring Training he was tied for the team lead in home runs and RBIs with 3 and 8, respectively. Thus, it’s assumed that the team considering that fact, as well as the lack of depth at third base coming into this year, when determining whether or not he’d make the club. Apparently they saw something in him that his batting average didn’t.


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Being Setup To Fail……Or Worse

January 14th, 2014 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Being Setup To Fail……Or Worse | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

Which road will the Phils take…

The last viable third base prospect the Phillies had could arguably be Scott Rolen. So, for the Phillies to have Cody Asche ready and Maikel Franco in the wings is a coup for this franchise. The last couple of months, we’ve heard talk of moving Asche off of third to make room for Franco. Or moving Franco to first and keeping Asche at third. While the long-term hot corner helmer may not be decided, I don’t see it as a decision that will be made in 2014. In fact, I don’t think Asche has any reason to look over his shoulder AT ALL.

Even if the Dominican Winter League Playoffs ended today for the Gigantes, Maikel Franco will have played in 181 games during the 2013-2014 baseball season. He’d have accumulated 737 plate appearances, which is roughly 20 more than Red Sox second baseman, and league leader, Dustin Pedroia. Even if Franco has already played his last game in the Dominican, it gives him just about a month to recuperate before Spring Training begins. While players will never admit it, being worn down to extremes not only leads to ineffectiveness, it could also lead to injury.

So while 2014 may not feature Maikel Franco, or new claims of glory, remember how you feel right before leaving to go on vacation and how you desperately deserve this break. Franco WILL be apart of the next core. I just don’t think their time has come.

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The Best & Worst of Ruben Amaro Jr. (Part 1: The Best)

October 6th, 2013 by Mike H. | Comments Off on The Best & Worst of Ruben Amaro Jr. (Part 1: The Best) | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies


The fall of 2008 was a happy time for Philadelphia Phillies fans. Jimmy Rollins’ prophecy of being the team to beat had finally come true, and Pat Gillick’s genius shined thru and brought the team’s second world title in franchise history. We were on top of the world. As the future Hall of Famer stepped aside from the game, Ruben Amaro seemed primed to be next in line to take over the reigning World Champions. Since then, Amaro returned the Phillies to the World Series, but luck (and health), has not been on the team’s side. In the meantime, let’s look at the top ten moves the current GM has made to keep this team successful. (more…)

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