This, shockingly enough, is not a prank. With the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres affiliate) getting blown out by the Las Vegas 51’s (Mets affiliate), outfielder Jeff Francoeur took the mound for some mop-up duty. Francoeur had never pitched in his professional career dating back to 2002.
Francoeur retired Allan Dykstra on a fly ball to center, and Zach Lutz and Juan Centeno on ground outs to second base for a 1-2-3 inning. Not bad.
On the offensive side of things, Francoeur went 1-for-4 with a single against the 51’s. He entered the afternoon slashing .207/.217/.362 in 60 trips to the plate at Triple-A.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Giants were “sniffing around” on Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco at the recently completed Winter Meetings.
Franco, 25, would be a nice buy-low candidate for the Giants, who don’t have a reliable third baseman yet. Currently, Pablo Sandoval would get the lion’s share of starts at the hot corner. Franco was a consensus top-100 prospect going into the 2014 and ’15 seasons, but hasn’t lived up to the hype over the last two seasons. In 2017, he hit .230/.281/.409 with 24 home runs and 76 RBI in 623 plate appearances.
Moving Franco wouldn’t necessarily solve any problems for the Phillies. After signing first baseman Carlos Santana, Rhys Hoskins is expected to play in the outfield full-time. As a result, the Phillies have too many outfielders with Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, and Aaron Altherr. Technically, the Phillies could move Santana to third base as he has experience there, but he hasn’t played the hot corner since 2014.
Franco is arbitration eligible over the next four seasons, which might be the most attractive thing about him to other teams.