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Phillies re-assign Maikel Franco to minors

Posted by Martin Shnayder, Sat, March 22, 2014 09:41 PM | Comments: 9
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The Phillies on Saturday re-assigned top third base prospect Maikel Franco to minor-league camp.

This move projects what has been believed by many since the end of the 2013 season — that Cody Asche will be the opening day third baseman for the Phillies. However, manager Ryne Sandberg refused to fully acknowledge this.

“Cody will play in these games and get ready for the start of the season and then we’ll go from there,” Sandberg told reporters including CSNPhilly’s Jim Salisbury.

Asche is hitting just .175 (7 for 40) in spring training. He has homered in 2 of his past 3 games though, and seems to be getting more comfortable with his swing as of late.

Franco, who had an incredible 2013 season between Class A Clearwater and Double A Reading, hitting a combined .320 with 31 home runs and 103 RBIs in 134 games, struggled in camp with the Phillies. Franco had just seven hits, all singles, in 38 at-bats in Grapefruit League action. However, Franco has shown off his strong arm at third base and has played solid defense for the Phillies in spring training.

It remains to be seen whether Franco will start the 2014 campaign with Double A Reading or Triple A Lehigh Valley.

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Martin Shnayder has written 15 articles on Phillies Nation.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Scotty Ingerton

    I don’t think Asche is an everyday player…we’ll being seeing Franco at some point this season.

    Just loaded up the freezer with Bubba Burgers for opening day. See you guys down in parking lot K.

     
  • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

    Depending on how asche does this year, I’d like to see them try to teach Franco to play a corner outfield spot

     
    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      The biggest problem with moving Franco to the outfield is his lack of speed. Apparently, he’s exceptionally slow for a young guy but possesses a great first reflex together with soft hands that makes him ideal for 3rd. He also has a terrific arm a strength that would be welcome in any position but i’d think more wasted at 1st than any other position.

      Asche would be the better choice in the field but a corner position is normally reserved for power hitters. I don’t see him every becoming much more than a 15-HR guy per year. Then again, if he can start hitting for average and regularly drive balls to the gap I wouldn’t totally dismiss the idea of moving him to left. Depending on Byrd’s status at the end of the year, Brown could return to right or Brown and Asche might battle it out for the job in left. This should be a telling year for both players.

      But I’d still trade Brown and Asche to LA for Kemp in a New York minute.
      (Excuse my repeating this trade idea but perhaps Ruben is reading PN now that most everything else is settled and is already rushing to the phone to call Colletti).
      Again, here’s how I see it… LA loses a malcontent and fat salary while retaining a viable reserve fielder in Brown (who has higher power numbers than Ethier) and a backup 3rd baseman for the 35-year-old Uribe who the Dodgers pray (with crossed fingers and a chant) will have another rebound year. They don’t currently have a serious backup for Uribe. Plus, even if Asche doesn’t get any better than he already is he still gives the Dodgers a passable bridge 3rd baseman until they can find a better one – and good ones are more rare than at most other positions – maybe all, save catcher.
      The Phils would receive a proven star in Kemp who is still under 30, along with his better fielding, better hitting and the right handed bat they really need behind Howard – and if the Dodgers pick up some of Kemp’s salary, all the better for the Phillies. I’d make the trade, either way. Of course, the Phils would also be forced to bring Franco back up minus some more seasoning but he’s already a quality 3rd baseman and I believe the bat will be there with a little patience and a good Joyner type of coach at the major league level. – as was successfully done for Brown. I don’t think it’s a surprise that Brown has regressed to bad old habits in the absence of Joyner’s continued help.

       
  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    “Asche is hitting just .175 (7 for 40) in spring training. He has homered in 2 of his past 3 games though, and seems to be getting more comfortable with his swing as of late.”

    A little light on the facts of better of late, but I can only add so much…I read yesterday where he started something like 0-13, and is around. .280 since. That’s BA, clueless on how the OBP is. For whatever the spring numbers, and my memory is worth. I’m interested to see where he is by the end of May, which should be enough at bats to get a better idea, particularly with a half season of experience.

    Hopefully, Franco does his part as early as a similar time frame to create a dilemma.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    Well, here’s a little surprise. Kevin Frandsen was outrighted to the Pigs. I assume that means Cesar Hernandez will make the club, and with Galvis shelved for a while, might get a decent amount of time. Not the least of which might be a chance to play a little 3B, which, while not a position he’s accustomed to, at least gives him a chance to get on the field and at least try to make things happen.

    Cesar doesn’t strike as the most polished fundamental player, but he’s played a full course of minor league ball, and more time there oesn’t seem like it’d do him a world of good.

    Kudos to the Phillies for injecting some youth in the roster.

    At least assuming my take is reasonable.

    Speed kills, and Cesar is a rabbit.

     
  • Posts: 0 wbramh

    Can somebody explain to me why Ryno is playing coy over who his starting 3rd baseman is going to be on opening day?

    Let’s see, they’ve already announced that Franco is going to open the season in either triple A or possibly back to double A and Frandsen has just been handed his 1-way ticket to the Iron Pigs. Cesar Hernandez doe not have the arm for 3rd (arguably not for SS either) and Galvis is out indefinitely with MRSA. Did I miss somebody?
    Did Rube coax Don Money out of retirement?

    God save us if he’s thinking of bringing MiniMart back…again!
    I’d rather have MRSA.
    It’s easier to get rid of it.

     
    • Posts: 0 Chuck A.

      I guess it’s the same reason he wouldn’t announce Cliff Lee as the Opening Day starter when that was fairly obvious. Not sure what the big mystery is….

       
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        Maybe confirming the opening day starters will accidentally give away the surprise ending.

         
    • Posts: 146 photoFred

      Avatar of photoFred

      The way of the Ryno is clearly beyond hoi polloi such as you or me.

       
 
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