The Angels acquired utility infielder/outfielder Nick Franklin from the Brewers on Friday, per team announcements. The Brewers will receive cash considerations or a player to be named later. Franklin was designated for assignment by the Brewers on Tuesday to accommodate the return of Ryan Braun and Jonathan Villar.
While Franklin showed promise after breaking out with the Rays last season, carrying a .270/.328/.443 batting line with 17 extra-base hits over a 60-game stretch, he returned to his sub-Mendoza Line standard in 2017. He was claimed off waivers by the Brewers following an impressive display in spring training, but couldn’t replicate those results during the regular season. Over 89 plate appearances in Milwaukee, Franklin slashed .195/.258/.317 with five extra bases, racking up just two home runs and a .575 OPS in 53 games.
The Angels have yet to announce a corresponding move for their new utility player, who has run out of options and will be placed on the active roster. They’re still waiting on the return of reigning AL MVP Mike Trout, who underwent thumb surgery last month and is scheduled to take batting practice before Friday’s series opener against the Mariners.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.