Dodgers attendance is way down and still very misleading

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This isn’t exactly breaking news, but Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times has an interesting article about just how far the Dodgers’ attendance has fallen this season.

Dilbeck notes that their official attendance is down 8,100 fans per game, but even that’s misleading because the total is tickets sold rather than actual fans in seats.

While in California for the SABR convention a few weeks ago I went to two weeknight games at Dodger Stadium and the place couldn’t possibly have been even half full. At most there were 20,000 people there, yet the announced attendance was over 30,000 and the Dodgers’ listed attendance is 36,622 per game, which ranks 10th-best in MLB.

Dilbeck estimates that Dodger Stadium has been at least 25 percent empty “most nights.” In terms of revenue generated strictly from ticket sales that may not hurt the Dodgers, but it does hurt when it comes to projecting sales for next season and for additional revenue that comes from parking or food or beer or souvenirs.

That the Dodgers are a mess right now is obviously no secret, but the scope of the mess might be even bigger than most people realize.

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.