The Phillies announced their September call-ups following their no-hitter of the Braves this afternoon, which most notably included the promotion of top prospect Maikel Franco from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Franco was ranked as the game’s No. 22 prospect Baseball America coming into the season, but he batted just .209 with five home runs and a .585 OPS through his first 78 games. However, as Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com noted in July, he saw a turnaround following a visit from former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. The 22-year-old hit .324 with 11 homers and a .922 OPS from July-August and wrapped up his season today by going 1-for-3 with a double.
Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg recently told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that they won’t try Cody Asche in the outfield this month, so Franco figures to see part-time duty between third base and first base this month. He could make his major league debut tomorrow with left-hander Mike Minor on the hill for Atlanta.
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been out since July 24 with a lower back strain. He’s slated to throw a three-inning simulated game in Pittsburgh on Monday, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Plunkett adds that if all goes well, the earliest Kershaw could return is August 31 against the Diamondbacks, but September 1 is more likely against the Padres.
Kershaw, 29, hit the disabled list on a pace to win his fourth Cy Young Award. He’s 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.
The Dodgers have managed just fine without Kershaw. The club is 19-4 since July 24. At 87-35, the Dodgers own baseball’s best record, well ahead of the second-best Astros at 76-48.
Last week, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected from a game against the Rangers after giving home plate umpire Angel Hernandez a look after a pitch was thrown outside for a ball. Kinsler was apparently unhappy with calls Hernandez had made earlier. Manager Brad Ausmus, too, was ejected.
After the game, Kinsler said that Hernandez “needs to find another job.” He added, “…he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”
Kinsler was fined by Major League Baseball for his remarks, Mlive’s Evan Woodbery reports. According to Ausmus, the fine levied on Kinsler was the largest one he’s seen in nearly 25 years in baseball. Kinsler said, “I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, then that’s their problem.” Ausmus said, “To single out one player as a union is completely uncalled for.”
As Ashley noted on Saturday, the umpires wore white wristbands to protest “escalating attacks on umpires.” The umpires agreed to drop their protest on Sunday after commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with the umpire union’s governing board, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports.