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.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: