Author: Drew Silva

Maikel Franco
AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Maikel Franco to return for final series


Here’s a nice surprise for the Phillies …

Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that standout rookie third baseman Maikel Franco has been cleared to rejoin the active major league roster on Thursday and will be available for the Phillies’ final regular-season series this weekend against the Marlins.

Franco has been on the disabled list since mid-August with a non-displaced fracture in his left wrist, but his recent workouts at the Phillies’ spring training complex in Clearwater, Florida have apparently been impressive.

The 23-year-old was sporting an .830 OPS, 13 home runs, and 48 RBI through his first 77 major league games.

Ryan Zimmerman is done for the season

Ryan Zimmerman
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Ryan Zimmerman has been sidelined since September 7 with a strained left oblique muscle, and the mathematically-eliminated Nationals are not going to rush him back for their final two series of the season.

Nationals manager Matt Williams acknowledged Tuesday to James Wagner of the Washington Post that the veteran first baseman hasn’t made significant enough progress to get back on the field before Sunday’s season-finale at Citi Field.

Zimmerman will finish 2015 with a .249/.308/.465 slash line, 16 home runs, and 73 RBI. He has appeared in just 156 games over the last two seasons.

Washington still owes the 31-year-old a total of $60 million.

Steven Matz has right side stiffness

Steven Matz
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

We can’t go a week without some Mets panic?

Per beat writer Mike Puma of the New York Post, rookie starter Steven Matz woke up with stiffness on the right side of his back Tuesday and could have to be scratched from his scheduled start Wednesday night against the Phillies. Logan Verrett would jump ahead a spot.

The important thing is Matz should be able to return Thursday and remains on track to serve as the Mets’ fourth starter in the playoffs. “It’s one of those things where you wake up and I just slept wrong or something, so I’m just being precautionary about it,” the young left-hander told Puma on Tuesday afternoon.

Matz, 24, boasts a 2.27 ERA and 34 strikeouts over his first 35 2/3 major league frames.