Phillies third base prospect Maikel Franco hit for the cycle in his first four at-bats in tonight’s home game against the Syracuse Chiefs. Franco doubled in the first inning, tripled in the third, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo home run to center field to complete the cycle.
Franco, 21, was a consensus top-100 prospect entering the 2014 season and represented the Phillies at the 2014 Futures Game at Target Field in Minnesota in July. He struggled to begin the season, but has hit well since the start of July. In his last 190 plate appearances, Franco has hit eight home runs, knocked in 37 runs, and posted a .306/.323/.572 slash line.
The Phillies are likely to bring Franco up at some point in September after rosters expand. He’ll compete with Cody Asche for the starting job at third base in March.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.
The Kansas City Royals have signed starter Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension.
Duffy was arbitration eligible this offseason and would’ve been a free agent next winter if he hadn’t signed the deal. Given his stuff he might’ve made a mint as a free agent, but he’s also been inconsistent at times and any pitcher is an injury away from losing a payday, making this a nice, lucrative bet for the lefty.
Duffy, 28, posted a 3.51 ERA and a 188/42 K/BB ratio across 179.2 innings in 2016.