UPDATE: Jayson Werth is out of the lineup again

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Charlie Manuel headshot.jpgUPDATE: Snipping, sniping, whatever: Jayson Werth is sitting for a second straight day.  Ben Francisco gets the call in right against Josh Johnson and the Marlins.

Not sure I’d read a ton into this. Werth is only 3 for 11 against Johnson with zero extra base hits, so maybe he’s not the right guy for Werth to break out of a slump against, ya know?

12:11 P.M: Charlie Manuel, when asked if he thinks Jayson Werth’s struggles have anything to do with this being his big free agency year:

“I think something like that has to. It has to. I definitely think that. I
think everyone is like that. Even if a guy is quiet, I know it does. I
know in his mind that he thinks like that. He really got off to a
tremendous start and when things started going a little bad for him, he
thinks about it. But he’s going to be fine.”

Jayson Werth’s response:

“I don’t think anybody can sit there and say what I’m thinking. I play hard every night. I hustle. I play to win. Thinking about
my contract is the last thing on my mind.”

“Say, don’t get sore, see.” Charlie Manuel probably said afterward, diffusing the situation.

Werth sat out for the second time in a week last night.  The Marlins won’t be around every day to give victories away, so he had best get on the stick if the Phillies are to break out of their funk.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.

Report: Phillies making Maikel Franco available in trade discussions

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Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Phillies are making third baseman Maikel Franco “more than available” in trade discussions.

Franco, 24, is having an abysmal season after showing promise in 2015 and ’16. Through 289 plate appearances, he’s hitting .221/.280/.365 with nine home runs and 37 RBI. His hitting has tanked and his already below-average defense hasn’t shown any improvement.

It’s a bit surprising that the Phillies would be so eager to move Franco with his value about as low as it can go. Franco is also under control of the rebuilding Phillies through the 2021 season, so the team doesn’t have to rush into moving him. He will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season.

Furthermore, the Phillies don’t have an immediate replacement for Franco at third base. Andres Blanco would likely get everyday starts at the hot corner in the short-term, but as far as prospects go, there are no third baseman banging down the door. If the Phillies were to trade Franco, it would likely have to be in return for a young, talented third baseman who will be under team control for several more years.